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Tokyo court rules against Shinsuke Shimada, Yoshimoto Kogyo over gangster article

Shukan Gendai Oct. 15

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo High Court on Thursday ruled against former television entertainer Shinsuke Shimada, 57, and his agency in an appeal lawsuit for libel filed against publisher Kodansha, reports Sankei Shimbun (July 4).

Agency Yoshimoto Kogyo and Shimada sought damages of 40 million yen for an article about the former entertainer’s associations with organized crime that appeared in the October 15 (2011) issue of weekly tabloid Shukan Gendai under the headline that read: “Shimada, you are a gangster.”

Yoshimoto Kogyo was critical over content in the article that indicated that the agency was accommodating to its performers associating with organized crime members.

Last year, the Tokyo District Court also ruled in favor of Kodansha in a damages suits seeking 165 million yen.

In August of 2011, Shimada abruptly announced his retirement from the entertainment business, citing an exchange of e-mails with an upper member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate, as the reason.

A representative from the editorial department at Shukan Gendai, which is owned by Kodansha, said, “This is a perfect result. Our contention was fully recognized.”

Yoshimoto Kogyo said the decision was unjust. “We are carefully considering an appeal,” said a representative.