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This blog is aimed at providing general information, latest updates and some of our analytical reports about Japan's public policy in English.
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Lawsuits Simultaneous in 47 Prefectures

* Written by PPPC Visiting Fellow

 A day after the July Upper House election, a group of lawyers moved
lawsuits in all the prefectural courts to claim that the election in
which the disparity in the weight of one vote counted more than *4.77
was unconstitutional and invalid, and also that it requires Diet
measures to realize a truly fair vote election; so-called the fair
value of one-vote suit.

 The significant point here is that the group of lawyers moved the
motion in all the 47 prefectures simultaneously.

 Traditionally, there has been a judicial reasoning to avoid
sentencing that the election was invalid in order to avoid an incident
where the election system is to be changed while there was no lawmaker
from the relevant constituency as result of the courts judgment; a
scenario which the Constitution did not assume. In many cases such
conditional reasons has been applied to justify the past elections.

 However, this time, as the lawyers took the action in all the 47
constituencies and all the high courts will likely appeal to the
Supreme Court, it is expected that the Supreme Court lumps all the 47
constituencies together and gives judgment from either one of
constitutional, unconstitutional but valid, unconstitutional
and illegal, and unconstitutional and invalid indiscriminately.
It is important that the Supreme Court this time has difficulty using
conditional reasons in giving the sentence.

 It means that the scenario will not cause the circumstance in which
only a part of the lawmakers will lose the Diet seats. The cases will
also likely influence the Supreme Courts judgment over validity of
the 2012 Lower House election to be sentenced in autumn. The lawyers
tenaciousness for revolution toward a fair vote can be understood.

 In Japan, since 1960s to today, there have been lawsuits over
validity of the elections constantly for 50 years almost endlessly.

 Hidetoshi Masunaga, a leader of the group of lawyers, explains that
the background is the Supreme Court which never explicitly mentioned
the moral precepts


This continuance by PPPC Briefing Service

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