Although the power of judicial review is granted in unmistakable terms, Japanese courts have proceeded with great caution and discretion in their exercise of the power. One aspect of the Japanese courts' caution is illustrated by its use of the political question doctrine. Under this doctrine the judicial branch recognizes the validity of determinations of the political branches and does not review them to see whether they conform to the Constitution. The rationale is that the Constitution itself places some questions solely under the competence of the political branches of the government.
Pollitical Questions and Judicial Review: A Comparison,
Wash. L. & Rev.
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