This was a judgment concerning whether or not inhabitants living in the vicinity of the project site of a city planning project had standing to sue for revocation of the approval of the project.
The Minister of Construction had granted the Tokyo Metropolitan Government the approval of the city planning project, which aimed at the development of a railroad project. The appellants, alleging illegality of the railroad project approval and the ancillary street project approvals, requested the appellee to revoke these approvals.
The lower court had decided that the appellants were nothing but inhabitants living in the vicinity of the project site of the railroad project, and they had no rights on real estate within the project site. There were no grounds to construe that their right or legally-protected interest had been injured by reason of project approval. Therefore, the appellants did not have standing to sue for revocation of the Railroad Project Approval.
The Supreme Court emphasized, however, that taking into consideration the purpose of the provisions of the City Planning Law on city planning project approval and the contents and nature of the interest to be protected under these provisions, it was reasonable to construe that the said law also aimed at regulating projects on improvement of city planning facilities for the public purpose of achieving sound development and orderly improvement of cities, and protected the interest of inhabitants who were likely to directly suffer serious damage to their health or living environment due to noise, vibration, etc. not to suffer such damage, as personal interest of each inhabitant. Consequently, inhabitants living in the vicinity of the project site of a city planning project who were likely to directly suffer serious damage to their health or living environment due to noise, vibration, etc. as a result of the implementation of the project should be regarded as persons who had legal interest to seek revocation of the approval of the project and therefore had standing to sue for revocation.