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J. Mark Ramseyer, The Japanese Judiciary, in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics (Robert Pekkanen & Saadia Pekkanen, eds., 2020).

Abstract: In this essay for the Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics, I survey the state of (and the research into) the Japanese judiciary. Japan operates a largely honest and meritocratic judiciary. The court's administrative office (and indirectly, the ruling party) can reward and punish judge for the quality of the work they do -- and has. For the most part, the administrative office uses that capacity to reward good work. It can also use the capacity to punish opposition politics -- but self-selection into the judiciary seems to keep the (perceived) need for that political intervention to a minimum.