(Update 2) Izumisano Wins Suit over Hometown Donation System Exclusion
Tokyo, June 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court overturned on Tuesday a lower court ruling and revoked the central government's decision to exclude the western Japan city of Izumisano from the new "furusato nozei" hometown donation system.
The Third Petty Bench's five justices unanimously dismissed Osaka High Court's decision backing the internal affairs minister's discretional power to set a uniform standard for municipalities that can join the new system.
In its ruling, handed down by Presiding Justice Yuko Miyazaki, the top court said a portion of the internal affairs ministry's notice on participation guidelines saying past ways to solicit donations are taken into account is "unconstitutional and invalid."
The part of the notice "inflicts lasting and serious damage to local governments as it indicates that not all municipalities would be included in the new system" based on their past donation-gathering methods, the court pointed out, adding that it was hard to comprehend that the law had entrusted the minister to establish the rule.
The furusato nozei system allows taxpayers to make donations to local governments of their choice and enjoy tax cuts in return.