Some people think that the U.S. has a monopoly on stupid lawsuits. Japan has its share, too. The main difference is that the Japanese courts usually tell the plaintiffs to get lost. Yomiuri reports on the dismissal of one such case in Nagoya:
The plaintiffs sought the termination of the deployment, claiming that “the SDF deployment to Iraq, in addition to being an act of war in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution, violates the right to peaceful existence provided in the Preamble to the Constitution, and has caused psychological damage.”
Similar lawsuits are pending in eleven other district courts, including Sapporo and Tokyo; the plaintiffs’ suits in Kofu and Osaka have also been dismissed.
“Dismiss” (却下 kyakka) means that the court found no legal standing for the suit. Article 9 has been the subject of many lawsuits ending in a dismissal, going back to the predecessors of the SDF in the early 1950s. While many citizens might object, few people can prove any injury resulting from the government’s alleged constitutional violations.
One notable exception to this was the Sunakawa Case of 1959, which challenged an arrest made under a law based on Article 9. The plaintiffs, who had been arrested for trespassing on Tachikawa Air Base in Tokyo, made it all the way to the Supreme Court before their case against Article 9 was conclusively thrown out.