The Japan Federation of Bar Associations submitted petitions to the government Wednesday signed by some 1.39 million people, calling for reform of the country’s judicial system to reflect public opinion.
The petitions, forwarded to a deliberative council on judicial reform, brought the number of signatures to 2.59 million, as petitions with some 1.2 million signatures were submitted in August, association officials said.
“This clearly shows the public wants a judicial system that works for the people,” said Kazumasa Kuboi, president of the association.
The association is calling for the introduction of a jury system and a new system to select judges mainly from lawyers.
The lawyers were surprised by the large turnout, having targeted 1 million signatures when they started campaigning in May.
It was the first time that the association has conducted a nationwide campaign, which gained support for reforms from about 800 organizations.
Kuboi expressed hope that the council will fully reflect and consider “the people’s voice” in its decisions.
Officials and members of the lawyer group subsequently went out on the street to gather more signatures.
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