JP | EN

Adhering to rules and following precedents is important,

but without challenging this mindset,

our society will not progress.
As Japan’s first specialist team for public interest litigation,

we strive to change the law forward together with all people,

for all people.
ルールは守るもの。前例は従うもの。

それでは、この国は変われない。

私たちは日本初の公共訴訟を支える専門家集団として、

自分らしく、公正な社会を生きたいすべての人々と共に、

社会のルールチェンジに挑みます。

NEWS

2024.3.8
The Lawsuit for a Society where Married Couples Can Take Separate Surnames has been filed. For more information, please check the case page on our crowdfunding platform, CALL4. We welcome your support in funding the litigation costs.
2024.2.26
We filed the “Maternity is not my body’s purpose” Lawsuit. For more information, please check the case page on our crowdfunding platform, CALL4. We welcome your support in funding the litigation costs.
2024.1.29
We filed the “Lawsuit to End Racially Discriminatory Police Questioning.” For more information, please check the case page on our crowdfunding platform, CALL4. We welcome your support in funding the litigation costs.
2023.7.10
We filed a lawsuit to lower the candidacy age in Japan. We held an event at 7 p.m. at the night of the filing date to share the information about the litigation at SHIBAURA HOUSE in Tokyo, Shibaura. Please check our CALL4 case page for details.

ABOUT LEDGE

Public interest litigation is a means for challenging unfair practices

and the harsh realities of our society through legal activism.
We are a team of professionals who have come together to promote people-centered justice

and public interest advocacy.
With high standards of professionalism, strategic thinking, and passion,

we strive to make positive changes in the legal spheres to advance our society for the greater good of all.
ABOUT

TEAM

Michiko Kameishi
President
Michiko Kameishi
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Orie Maruyama
Campaigner / Creative Director
Orie Maruyama
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Daisuke Igeta
Project Manager
Daisuke Igeta
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Motoki Taniguchi
Community Organizer
Motoki Taniguchi
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Yoshitaka Toda
Legal Director
Yoshitaka Toda
Profile
Clarisse Ikeda
Legal Associate
Clarisse Ikeda
Profile
Mayumi Shiina
Community Supporter
Mayumi Shiina
Profile

CASES

1
Lawsuit to Lower the Candidacy Age in Japan
The age of candidacy was established some 70 years ago. Since then, there has been a growing belief in Japan and around the world that the reflection of diverse perspectives contributes to a robust democracy. In line with this trend, Japan has lowered the voting age and the age of majority to 18 years.

The right to stand for election is a fundamental human right protected by the principle of popular sovereignty, which is a basic tenet of the Constitution, and should not be unfairly taken away without a reasonable justification. Moreover, having a variety of candidates to choose from benefits voters by expanding the choices they can make.
Through this litigation, we seek to ask the important question: Is the age restriction in the Public Offices Election Act reasonably justified?
Lawsuit to Lower the Candidacy Age in Japan
2
Lawsuit to End Racially Discriminatory Police Questioning|#STOPRacialProfiling
The police practice of racial profiling, where individuals are targeted for criminal investigation based on factors such as race, skin color, or ethnic origin, rather than objective evidence or individual behavior, has become a persistent issue in Japan. In recent years, there have been continuous complaints from people of foreign origin who have been subjected to repeated police questioning despite the absence of any reasonable suspicion. Racial profiling deeply undermines human dignity, stigmatizing individuals and communities who are subjected to it by suggesting that they don’t belong in Japan. We demand the abolition of the systemic practice of racially discriminatory police questioning, a practice that we deem inappropriate within our diverse society.
Lawsuit to Lower the Candidacy Age in Japan
3
“Maternity is not my body’s purpose” Lawsuit
For women who feel discomfort over their reproductive capacity or those who have made a definite choice not to have children, sterilization represents an indispensable means to live life on their own terms. In spite of this reality, the Maternal Health Act (aka the “Mother’s Body Protection Law”) prohibits sterilization for non-medical purposes and requires, inter alia, already having several children, as well as spousal (or partner) authorization. Furthermore, sterilization without fulfilling these requirements is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of up to 500,000 yen. We claim that these provisions infringe on the right to reproductive self-determination and violate the Constitution, and seek revision of the current legislative framework.
“Maternity is not my body’s purpose” Lawsuit
4
Lawsuit for a Society where Married Couples Can Take Separate Surnames
Under Japanese law, married couples must choose the same surname upon marriage, resulting in women predominantly adopting their husbands’ surname. Consequently, those wishing to keep their original surnames face a difficult choice: either sacrifice their own surname or forego legal marriage. As names are inextricably connected to one’s individuality and identity, both at personal and collective levels, each partner should have the right to choose their surname and to retain the use of their original surname upon marriage. LEDGE supports the Legal Counsel Team of the third lawsuit for a selective separate surnames system for married couples.
Lawsuit for a Society Where Couples Can Take Different Surnames!
More cases to be announced.
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