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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:31 a.m., Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Family to sue Japan billionaire over driveway

Associated Press

A Windward O'ahu family is planning legal action against Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto, who wants them and another Kahalu'u family to remove their driveways.

He says the driveways are encroaching on his private roadway.

Cecilia Murakami, 83, and her family claim they have easement rights and plan legal action to stop Kawamoto from tearing up their driveway.

But Kawamoto's attorney, Carol Asai-Sato, said Kawamoto has the right to do whatever he wants with his property.

He needs to get access to the road to use it as a driveway for a new vacation home he is building on the 130-acre property, according to his attorney.

The two homeowners have been illegally trespassing on his land for years, she said.

Tax records going back to 1955 and all of Kawamoto's title documents show he owns the road, Asai-Sato said.

The two families have other access to their homes, she said.

Kawamoto made headlines in the 1980s by buying 180 O'ahu homes and condos.