Okinawa and Its Agony: From a Former Judge’s Perspective

Center for Okinawan Studies Lecture Series

Okinawa and Its Agony
From a Former Judge’s Perspective


Prof. Hiroshi Segi

Meiji University Graduate School of Law
specializing in civil litigation and the sociology of law
Shiroyama Saburo Prize-winning Author
Author of Fourteen Books
Visiting Scholar, Wm. S. Richardson School of Law

After thirty-three years of career service as a judge in Japan, I gave up my post to become a law school professor.  My experience in participating in a ruling on a case at the District Court in Okinawa was a central reason for my decision to step down from the bench.  I served as one of the judges on a case in which residents near the U.S. Kadena Air Base brought a suit demanding a ban on night flights due to the noise’s detrimental impact on their health.  I regret the ruling in this case more than any other from my judicial career and will share this story with the audience today.

I present my experiences in Okinawa within a cultural context and use it as a symbolic tale of serious problems with the Japanese judicial system.  This case and other cases also illustrate the constraint placed on the legal system owing to Japan’s security treaty with the United States.  As many are unaware of these important issues, I have focused my speaking and writing towards making these problems become better known and understood.


October 6, 2017 (Friday)

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room)

Lecture in English.
(Q&A Period, facilitated by a Japanese-English interpreter).

Comments by Professors Mark Levin and Mari Matsuda.

The event is co-hosted by the Wm. S. Richardson School of Law Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Program.


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