• Jiji


The texts of rulings recently handed down by three district courts in Japan have close resemblances, plaintiffs’ lawyers said Thursday.

The rulings were given separately by the Fukuoka, Kyoto and Kanazawa district courts between May and November in cases concerning a reduction in welfare benefits.

The texts of the rulings by the three courts contain the same typographical error. The lawyers said two of the three courts may have copied the text of the preceding ruling and pasted it into their own rulings.

The Fukuoka court issued its ruling in May, followed by the Kyoto court in September and the Kanazawa court in November.

The three courts all rejected the plaintiffs’ claims that the benefit reduction violates the Constitution, which guarantees the right to live.

Tetsuro Kokubo, a lawyer who leads a group supporting the plaintiffs, said that the rulings were handed down “only for the sake of rejection.”

“We want the judges to think with their heads,” he said.

Shinya Wada, who leads a team of lawyers for plaintiffs who filed a suit with Osaka District Court, said, “It’s too much to be a coincidence.”

“I suspect there is something like original data that is being copied and pasted,” he said.

A total of over 1,000 people in 29 of the country’s 47 prefectures have filed lawsuits seeking to have the benefit cut reversed.

So far, seven district courts have handed down rulings, with the latest being handed down by Kobe District Court on Thursday. Of them, only the Osaka court ordered the cut to be canceled.

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