Justice Itsuro Terada will succeed Hironobu Takesaki as chief justice of the Supreme Court, government and judicial sources said Thursday.
Terada, 66, will become the top court's 18th chief justice succeeding Takesaki, 69, who will retire at the end of March for health reasons. The personnel change is expected to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday.
Terada is the son of the late Jiro Terada, who was the 10th chief justice of the top court between 1982 and 1985.
Terada, who became an assistant judge in 1974 after graduating from the University of Tokyo, moved to the Justice Ministry in 1981 and stayed at the ministry's Civil Affairs Bureau.
He became one of the top court's 15 justices in December 2010 after serving as head of the Saitama District Court and the Hiroshima High Court.