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Home > Supreme Court of Japan > About the Supreme Court > Justices of the supreme court > OTANI Naoto


Justices of the Supreme Court


 OTANI Naoto

Justice
OTANI, Naoto
Date of Birth: June 23, 1952

Career

Education:

 
Graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law in 1975

Qualification:

 
Appointed as a legal apprentice in 1975

Professional Career:

1977
Assistant Judge, Tokyo District Court
1980
Staff Attorney, Criminal Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat, Supreme Court
1983
Professor, Research and Training Institute for Court Clerks
1986
Assistant Judge, Toyama District/Family Court
1989
Judicial Research Official, Supreme Court
1994
Judge, Tokyo District Court
1995
Professor, Legal Training and Research Institute
1998
Director, First and Third Divisions, Criminal Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat, Supreme Court
2000
Judge, Tokyo High Court
2001
Presiding Judge, Tokyo District Court
2002
Director, Secretary Division and Public Information Division, General Secretariat, Supreme Court
2005
Director-General, Criminal Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat and Director of the Supreme Court Library, Supreme Court
2007
Director-General, Personnel Affairs Bureau, General Secretariat, Supreme Court
2011
Chief Judge, Shizuoka District Court
2012
Secretary-General of Supreme Court
2014
President, Osaka High Court
2015
February 17, 2015 Justice of the Supreme Court

Motto, hobbies

Things to Keep in Mind as a Justice
The number of observers, especially students, attending court proceedings has increased dramatically since I took the bench in 1977 as an assistant judge. I feel that the distance between citizens and courts has diminished during this period, partly due to the recent introduction of the saiban-in (lay judge) system. At the same time, I believe citizens are paying much more close attention to courts to see if our performance meets their expectations. I will strive to hear every case with the utmost sincerity, keeping my presence of mind, and will always keep my grave responsibilities as a Justice of the Supreme Court in mind.

Favorite Word or Term
Es irrt der Mensch, solang er strebt (“Man errs as long as he strives”).
Goethe, Faust

Books that Left an Impression on Me
Moving to Osaka to assume my previous position was the first time I had ever lived there in my life. To get a feel for the atmosphere of the place, I read many books set in Osaka. I was particularly impressed by the work of Osaka’s many female novelists, including Makate Asai, Kanako Nishi, Tomoka Shibasaki and Kikuko Tsumura, whose passion for their city was apparent.

Hobbies
Reading a novel while listening to music that fits my mood has always been my favorite way of relaxing. If I had to choose a favorite book that I have re-read many times over the years, I would mention Bleak House by Charles Dickens. It not only offers a compelling story, but asks impressively insightful questions about the nature of justice and the responsibilities of jurists.