Restriction on Overseas Voting System Ruled Unconstitutional

Society

Tokyo, May 28 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court ruled Tuesday it is unconstitutional that the government failed to provide a system allowing Japanese nationals living aboard to review the appointments of Supreme Court justices.

The district court ordered the government to pay 5,000 yen in damages per plaintiff. The suit was filed by five people, including Kazuhiro Soda, a 48-year-old film director living in the United States.

The failure "violates constitution, which stipulates the right to review the appointments of the country's top court justices," because it made it impossible for Japanese abroad to cast their ballots in the latest review in 2017, the district court said.

The right "is designed to give democratic control to the appointments of Supreme Court justices," Presiding Judge Hideaki Mori said. "It is the inherent right of the Japanese people stipulated in the constitution."

A review of Supreme Court justice appointments is held together with an election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press