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Tokyo gov. candidate Shuntaro Torigoe sues tabloid over ‘groundless’ article

Shukan Bunshun July 28
Shukan Bunshun July 28

TOKYO (TR) – Journalist Shuntaro Torigoe, a candidate in this month’s Tokyo gubernatorial election, on Thursday lodged a criminal complaint against a weekly magazine over an article that claims he made in appropriate sexual advances toward a woman, reports Nikkan Sports (July 22).

The complaint, filed at the Tokyo District Court, claims that the editor of Shukan Bunshun committed libel and violated election laws with an article out this week that documents an incident that allegedly took place in the summer of 2002 and involved a female university student who was 20 years old at the time.

According to the article, which appears in Bunshun’s July 28 issue that hit newsstands on Thursday, Torigoe reportedly lured the woman to his mountain retreat near Mt. Fuji, forcibly kissed her and invited her to a love hotel.

Torigoe, a former reporter for the Mainichi Shimbun and anchor at TV Asahi, is running as a candidate of multiple parties, including the Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, in opposition to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition, whose candidate is Hiroya Masuda, a former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications.

On Thursday, Torigoe described the article as “groundless” in speaking from the Democratic Party campaign office in Tokyo. “I can only imagine that political forces are at work,” he said.

A representative of the editorial department of Bunshun said in a statement, “We have sufficient confidence in our article.”

The election is on July 31.