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Japan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled a law unconstitutional for not allowing Japanese nationals living abroad to vote on whether justices of the top court are qualified for the job.

The justice review law does not at all allow expatriates to exercise the right to cast such votes, and this amounts to “a violation of the Constitution,” Presiding Justice Naoto Otani said as he handed down the ruling at the Grand Bench of the top Japanese court. This was the first such ruling by the top court.

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