Japanese Judge to Face Impeachment Trial over Twitter Posts

Society

Tokyo, June 17 (Jiji Press)--A committee of the Diet, Japan's parliament, has decided to file an accusation with the Judge Impeachment Court against a high court judge for his dismissal over his inappropriate Twitter posts.

The judge prosecution committee's decision on the action against Kiichi Okaguchi, 55, a judge at Sendai High Court in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, was made on Wednesday. This was the 10th judge prosecution decision made by the committee and the first since 2012. Okaguchi is the first judge to face accusation over a social media post.

Okaguchi had asked the parliamentary committee not to bring his case to the impeachment court, stating in hearings by the panel that his right to post comments should be protected as part of freedom of expression.

In recent years, the committee has only sought impeachment of judges convicted in criminal trials. Seven of the nine judges who faced impeachment trials in the past were dismissed by the court.

All 20 members of the Diet committee attended Wednesday's meeting over Okaguchi's case, and more than two-thirds of them agreed to seek the impeachment of the judge. The committee is headed by Yoshitaka Shindo, a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the parliament.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press