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Ex-actress wins suit over tabloid for yakuza article

Shukan Bunshun May 16
Shukan Bunshun May 16

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of former actress Miwa Tajima in a libel suit against a publisher of a tabloid magazine that claimed she had connections to organized crime, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (May 27).

Presiding judge Masumi Kurachi ordered Bungei Shunju, the Tokyo-based publisher of Shukan Bunshun, to pay 4.4 million yen in compensation to Miwa, 51, who had sought 16.5 million yen.

Between May and June of 2013, the magazine ran three articles, including one inside its May 16 issue, that indicated Miwa was in a relationship with a gang boss.

Miwa claimed that reports forced her to withdraw as a Liberal Democratic Party candidate in the House of Councillors election in July of that year.

“The degree of defamation is significant,” judge Kurachi said, “and it prevented ongoing political activities.”

In addition to the compensation payment, the magazine will be required to run an apology on the first page of an upcoming issue and on its Web site for one year.

An editor for Shukan Bunshun said that the magazine was appealing the ruling.