October 14, 2015
1063 Plaintiffs Filed a Lawsuit against the Country over TPP
On May 15, a group of 1,063 people filed a lawsuit against Japan demanding the cessation of TPP negotiations and a declaration that the TPP is unconstitutional since it allegedly violates Japanese citizens’ right to live (Article 21) and right to pursue happiness (Article 13). They also demand compensation in the amount of 10,000 yen (approximately USD 80) per plaintiff. Eight members of parliament joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs:
- Mizuho Fukushima, lawyer and member of the Social Democratic Party;
- Tomoko Abe, doctor and member of the Democratic Party of Japan;
- Keiko Itokazu, member of the Okinawa Social Mass Party;
- Ryo Shuhama, member of the People’s Lives Party, Taro Yamamoto and Friends (PLPTYF);
- Denni Tamaki, member of PLPTYF;
- Taro Yamamoto, member of PLPTYF;
- Hirotoku Teruya
- Toshinobu Nakasato, a former member of Liberal Democratic Party.
According to the documents submitted to the court, the plaintiffs expressed concern that the TPP threatens food safety since it changes existing labeling regulations, such as those for GMO foods. Also, they are concerned about regulations covering generic medications, such as “mix-billing” which could lead to vastly increased medical fees. They also claimed that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedure violates Article 76 of the Constitution, which grants judicial power to domestic courts.
(Source: Tokyo Shimbun May 16, 2015)