• Kyodo

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The government has decided to bring rules for early voting on Supreme Court justices in line with those for Lower House elections, according to a government source.

The change, to extend the early voting period to 11 days, is aimed at making it more convenient for citizens to express their opinions on whether to dismiss justices appointed by the Cabinet, thereby raising voter turnout.

A justice who receives disapproval from a majority of those who cast valid votes is subject to dismissal. No justice has ever been removed as a result of this “national review.”

Supreme Court justices undergo the review in the first Lower House election following their appointment. They are then subject to a review every 10 years.

The government plans to submit a bill to revise the law during the extraordinary Diet session to be convened Sept. 26, the source said Sunday.

Currently, early voting for the review is allowed seven days before the Lower House election, whereas the period is 11 days for casting ballots in the Lower House race.

During the early voting period for the 2014 Lower House election, 1.59 million fewer ballots were cast over justices than in the Diet election.

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