I’ve always found Japan to be far noisier than the U.K, and this is something that prompted me to write Noisy Japanese Apartments, in which I listed seven causes of neighborhood noise. So while I knew Japan suffered terrible noise pollution, I never realized there were laws against it. In fact, with politicians, food trucks and biker gangs running rampant, I assumed there weren’t. That’s why it came as a surprise this week to see not one, but two court cases settled in favor of the victims of noise pollution.
The first was a complaint about a toddlers footsteps. The noise of the toddler stamping his feet in the apartment above reached 50-65 decibels.
A Tokyo court has ordered the father of a toddler to pay 360,000 yen in compensation to a neighbor after it ruled that the infant’s loud footsteps constituted noise pollution.
The second was about the noise from skateboarders and a fountain in a nearby park. The noise also measured around 60 decibels, above the metropolitan government’s acceptable rate of 50 decibels.
Kids have been banned from skateboarding and a fountain has been turned off in a suburban Tokyo park following a court ruling that they were too loud and causing a woman mental duress.
I hope the publicity given to these two cases will encourage more people to challenge neighborhood noise, but if it’s okay for politicians to make such a racket then I guess others will copy them. Fortunately, one politician is opposing the use of those noisy election campaign trucks. JapanProbe has the story: Just say NO to election campaign sound trucks!If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!