OSAKA (TR) – The Osaka District Court on Monday ruled against weekly tabloid Shukan Shincho in a suit with mayor Toru Hashimoto over an article from four years ago that he claimed was defamatory, reports the Sankei Shimbun (October 5).
The court ordered the weekly’s publisher, Shinchosha, to pay the plaintiff 2.75 million yen in damages for an article that reported on the relatives of Hashimoto, including his father, who was an organized crime member, and his lower-class (or burakumin) background.
“It was illegal content harmful to Hashimoto’s honor,” said presiding judge Sachiya Hasebe.
Hashimoto had sought 11 million yen in the case.
Shinchosha claimed that that the article, which was published in the November 3, 2011 issue of Shukan Shincho, was serving the public by providing information. However, Hasabe disagreed. “It was an infringement on Hashimoto’s privacy,” the judge said.
At the time of publication, Hashimoto was the governor of Osaka Prefecture. He was elected mayor of the city of Osaka in November of that year.
A representative from the editorial department of Shukan Shincho said that the magazine will appeal the ruling.