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Restriction on Justice Review Voting Abroad Ruled Unconstitutional Again

Restriction on Justice Review Voting Abroad Ruled Unconstitutional Again

   Tokyo, June 25 (Jiji Press)--Upholding a lower court judgment, Tokyo High Court ruled Thursday that it was unconstitutional for Japanese nationals living aboard not being allowed to vote on whether justices of Japan's Supreme Court are qualified for the jobs.
   Presiding Judge Jun Abe also ruled that it would be illegal if Japanese expatriates could not exercise their right to cast such votes at the next general election.
   But the high court rejected the damages claim by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including Kazuhiro Soda, a 50-year-old Japanese film director living in the United States.
   In May 2019, Tokyo District Court found it unconstitutional that Japanese nationals abroad could not vote to review the appointments of justices of the Japanese top court at the time of the October 2017 general election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. The district court also ordered the government to pay 5,000 yen in damages per plaintiff.
   The voting on the review of Supreme Court justices takes place simultaneously with a Lower House general election, based on Article 79 of Japan's Constitution. A justice will be dismissed when the majority of votes favor his or her dismissal.

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