Tokura to become Japan Supreme Court Chief Justice

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Supreme Court Justice Saburo Tokura leaves the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government is planning to appoint Supreme Court Justice Saburo Tokura as the next chief justice of the court, it was learned Thursday.

Tokura, 67, will succeed current Chief Justice Naoto Otani, 69, who is set to retire on June 22. The personnel change is expected to be approved at a cabinet meeting as early as Friday.

As a judge, Tokura was mainly in charge of criminal trials.

After becoming Supreme Court justice in 2017, he adopted the view that a Civil Code provision banning married couples from using different surnames is constitutional, in a decision by the top court’s Grand Bench.

In 2020, Tokura presided over a lawsuit filed by a photographer requesting U.S. social media company Twitter Inc. to disclose information on users including those who retweeted a post with a photograph used without the photographer’s permission.

The top court dismissed Twitter’s appeal, finalizing a lower court ruling ordering the company to disclose the email addresses of the users.

A graduate of Hitotsubashi University, Tokura has served in several positions, including chief judge at Saitama District Court and Tokyo High Court and secretary-general of the Supreme Court.