Naruto city wins legal case over boat race payments

Naruto municipal authorities have won a legal case that had been brought against them by local residents who were upset at payments made regarding boat race facilities to the nearby fishing cooperative.

Several years ago the municipal authorities who administer Boat Race Naruto made a substantial “cooperation payment” of taxpayer money to the local fishing cooperative to gain their understanding regarding the boat races, which presumably might affect fishing prospects.

Local citizens challenged this use of taxpayer money, and in 2016 they won a court case which deemed that the cooperation payment had been illegal.

The municipal authorities, however, felt that any attempt to recover the money from the struggling fishing cooperative would do serious damage to the local fishing industry, and so they abandoned their claim to ask for a refund.

In Tuesday’s judgement at the High Court, it was ruled that the city’s concerns about the viability of the fishing industry were not unreasonable, and that their decision not to demand a refund of taxpayer money from the fishing cooperative was not illegal and fell within their discretionary power.