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Justices of the Supreme Court

IZUMI, Tokuji


IZUMI, Tokuji

Date of Birth: January 25, 1939

Education: Graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Law in 1961
Appointed as a legal apprentice in 1961
Professional Career:
1963 Appointed as an assistant judge
Assigned to Tokyo District/Family Court
1970 Graduated with LL.M degree from Harvard Law School
1973 Judge of Kanazawa District/Family Court
1975 Chief of the Recruitment Division, Personnel Affairs Bureau,
General Secretariat of the Supreme Court
1979 Judge of Tokyo District Court
1982 Judge of Tokyo District Court (Presiding Judge of the Division)
1983 Judicial Research Official of the Supreme Court
1986 Director of the Secretary/Public Information Division, General Secretariat of the Supreme Court
1988 Director of the Civil/Administrative Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat of the Supreme Court
1990 Director of the Personnel Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat of the Supreme Court
1994 Vice Secretary General of the Supreme Court
1995 Chief Judge of Urawa District Court
1996 Secretary General of the Supreme Court
2000 President of Tokyo High Court
2002 Justice of the Supreme Court

(Motto, Hobbies)

Things to Keep in Mind as a Justice

The role of the courts, I believe, lies in watching over the smooth operation of the democratic system in action, while striving to uphold the rights of individuals who are liable to be left behind under the majority rule. In this sense, it is my desire to reliably fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to the courts within the context of a democratic society.
The cases brought before a court each differ in their individual characteristics. In keeping with the lesson learned from a predecessor, "Do not judge cases by the law, but rather judge cases by the individual case," I do believe that rulings must not be based solely on the formal application of the law. Rather, it is my goal to clearly define the crux of each separate case, and identify the most appropriate verdict to resolve the dispute at hand.

Favorite word or Term

I was given the words "Tread the path of righteousness," by a former justice upon my appointment to the Supreme Court. They are words that I will take to heart.

Books that Left an Impression on Me

Ryotaro Shiba's "Ryoma Ga Yuku," about Ryoma Sakamoto, for one. Otherwise, I collect the essays and memoirs of judges who lived during the time around the end of the Pacific War. These men put everything on the line to uphold what it meant to be a judge in difficult times and also assiduously sought ways to move forth into a new age as a judge. These words of my predecessors help to remind me of things that we tend to forget nowadays.


My hobbies include strolling around used bookstore districts, and taking walks in the outskirts of Tokyo.


The biggest issue for the judicature in reforming the judicial system is speeding up court cases. The courts need to work as efficiently as possible and put forth a total effort to deal with this issue.
The number of cases continues to increase, however, and we need more judges and other staffs, as well as expanded courtroom and court settlement facilities. I would like to gain the public's understanding and support on this matter.