Freelance journalist Yu Terasawa, 35, filed a suit in 2000 against the state, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and police-related organizations, claiming Japan’s 74 million licensed drivers are being systematically financially exploited by police.

When he went to renew his license in February that year, he became convinced that the requirement for drivers to renew their licenses every three or five years — and the costly fees they have to pay in the process — have no reasonable grounds and are only maintained to benefit police and affiliated organizations that employ tens of thousands of retired officers.

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