Top Court Rejects Claims against Abe's Failure to Call Diet


Tokyo, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed appeals by opposition lawmakers and others who claimed that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet neglected their constitutional obligation to call a parliamentary session.

Presiding Justice Yasumasa Nagamine at the top court's Third Petty Bench made the decision to dismiss the three appeals, finalizing the lower court rulings against the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claimed that the Abe cabinet violated Article 53 of the Constitution by not convening an extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan's parliament, for more than three months despite a request from the opposition side.

Article 53 stipulates that the cabinet convene an extraordinary Diet session if requested by a quarter or more of all members of either Diet chamber. But it does not say by when the cabinet must do so.

In the ruling, the Third Petty Bench presented the top court's first interpretation of Article 53 saying that although the cabinet has an obligation to convene a parliamentary session under the article, that does not guarantee the rights of individual lawmakers to demand that a session be convened.

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Jiji Press