Japanese Judge Reprimanded for Social Media Post for 1st Time

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court decided Wednesday to reprimand a 52-year-old judge for a controversial social media post earlier this year.

Kiichi Okaguchi is the first Japanese judge to be reprimanded over a social media post. He was slapped with lighter punitive measures over his Twitter posts in June 2016 and March this year.

In May this year, he posted a comment on Twitter about a civil lawsuit over the ownership of a pet dog, criticizing in a provocative tone the dog's original owner for trying to get the animal back from the current guardian after abandoning it. He was not in charge of the suit, according to the top court.

The Twitter post "went beyond the tolerable limit for free speech" as it "gave rise to suspicion among the public that judges may have prejudices based on superficial and one-sided information and understanding," the court said.

The court condemned Okaguchi for unilaterally concluding that it was ridiculous for the original dog owner to file such a lawsuit, although every citizen has the right of access to court.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press