Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Koichi Yaguchi died of throat cancer Tuesday at a hospital in Tokyo, his family said. He was 86.

After serving as head of the Tokyo High Court, he was appointed to the Supreme Court, becoming chief justice in November 1985.

During his term as chief justice through February 1990, Yaguchi initiated a study on ways to increase citizen participation in the judicial process.

The studies culminated in the decision to introduce a lay judge system by 2009.

Yaguchi also fostered greater media access to the courts by allowing news organizations to tape and photograph in courtrooms before the start of trials.

Kyodo News

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