When Tokyo’s nearby Haneda International began experiencing capacity and noise issues in the early 1960s, the Japanese Transport Ministry planned a new airport to takeover as Japan’s primary international airport. Planners selected a site for the new airport in Chiba Prefecture about 40 miles (64 km) east of central Tokyo. The local population was not consulted prior to the selection.

When the new site was announced, fierce opposition formed immediately. Locals and others who opposed the project utilized tactics that delayed construction of the airport for years. Narita didn’t open until 1978.

Takao Shito, and his family never left. The family turned down an offer of 180 million yen (about $1.7 million). Here is a BBC video of their story.

The photo below is a view of what I think is his property surrounded by Narita International Airport.


Takao Shito’s family has owned the land for 100 years. He says there are five families living on Narita Airport. Litigation over Shito’s right to stay on his land continues.

I admire his dedication and commitment to his family’s legacy, but I’d take the money. How about you?