Confectionery Maker To Pay Damages For 'Sweet Smell'

KYOTO, Japan (Kyodo) -- A confectionery company in Kyoto was ordered in an unusual court ruling Wednesday to pay compensation to nearby residents who said they suffered from the sweet smell given off by the company's factory from 2005 to 2008.

The Kyoto District Court ordered Ishida Roho to pay some 2.8 million yen in damages to 17 people, who claimed they were unable to open their house windows or hang clothes outside and suffered health problems such as headaches due to the smell.

The sweets maker operated the factory in Kyoto's Minami Ward between February 2005 and June 2008.

Presiding Judge Yoshiharu Sugie said the smell was beyond tolerable levels and that it would have been a hardship if it had continued for a long time.

But he dismissed the plaintiffs' damages claim against the Kyoto city office for allegedly leaving the factory to continue operating, saying the city had been giving administrative guidance to the company to solve the problem.

The plaintiffs had sought a total of 21 million yen in damages from the company and the city government.