• Kyodo


At least two of the commemorative badges given to people who served as lay judges were posted on the Yahoo Auction website and fetched around ¥6,000 each, it was learned Thursday.

The Supreme Court has released a statement on the matter, saying: “It is our wish that those who received the badges will use them on their own, in light of the purpose of distributing them.”

The token badges, which cost the government ¥234 apiece in fiscal 2014, are given to people who served as lay judges as a token of appreciation.

One of them was offered for sale in March, with comments from the seller saying “I received this after actually participating in a lay judge trial,” and “This is not a usual item for sale so I think it’s very precious.” It was auctioned off at ¥6,000 in April.

In February, another badge, along with a notebook and an eraser, were offered on the online auction site and were sold for ¥6,900. The seller was in Mie Prefecture.

The badges have a diameter of 17 mm and is made of copper alloy. Lay judges receive them from judges after the trials they work on are concluded. They bear the name of the court and have a serial number on the back.

Some 58,000 people have participated as lay judges since the system was launched in 2009. The badge is usually handed out to lay judges along with a message from the court thanking them for their service.