Many records relevant to landmark civil cases since World War II no longer exist, having been disposed of by courts across the country, according to Kyodo News findings released Sunday.

Almost all judgments in the cases investigated have been preserved, but most of the other documents related to hearings during the trials were not, resulting in a loss of valuable historical records.

The almost 140 cases scrutinized were focused on issues such as nationality, freedom of expression, separation of state and religion, expropriation of land for national defense, and the constitutionality of the Self-Defense Forces.