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Japanese journalist goes on trial for defaming S Korean president

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So, this is what happens in Korea for speaking the truth, eh? If this accusation is true, then this lady politician should be dethroned.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Isn't it a similar situation in Japan, just with a more "softer" approach? I've heard that Japanese politicians can pretty much control their own media. Just look at how NHK has blocked discussion on Korean comfort women, at the request of Japanese political leaders, for example.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

On one hand, it is sad that over there, you can be sent to jail for freedom of speech, on the other hand, it is nice to see a society and culture that takes it's media seriously and doesn't allow it to run amok with wild and insane accusations that don't need to be fact-checked or punished for ever being asinine or wrong.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

It might surprise people to learn that unlike virtually everywhere else including Japan, proving that what was said is true offers absolutely no defence to a charge of defamation in South Korea. It certainly surprised me.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Freedom, as a whole, may be said to rest on three foundations: freedom from government restraint, opportunity for individual belief and action, and moral responsibility on the part of each citizen.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think some people are missing the point. This guy wasn't spreading rumours, he was reporting on the rumours that had already been spread in South Korea. This is what is arguably so wrong about the case, because South Korean journalists, who were doing at least the same, appear to have got off scott-free.

I've heard that Japanese politicians can pretty much control their own media.

Then why is there ever any disagreement with government in the media? There are outlets that support and criticise the government, and their positions can change depending on the issue in question.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

@Paul "Isn't it a similar situation in Japan, just with a more "softer" approach? I've heard that Japanese politicians can pretty much control their own media. Just look at how NHK has blocked discussion on Korean comfort women, at the request of Japanese political leaders, for example."

Not this case no. This dude just translated news that was already "out" in Korean into Japanese, and he got indicted and prevented from leaving while the original authors of the articles in korean weren't.

IMO this case is more about racism than it is about freedom of speech. I don't think theres something a Japanese citizen can go scotch free for saying while a foreigner would get indicted for here in Japan.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

accoridng to Yomiuri newspaper, 法廷で「韓国国民に謝れ」、前支局長の車に生卵 傍聴席約30席の小さな法廷は立ち見を含めて約70人で埋まった。保守団体のメンバーとみられる韓国人男性が「韓国国民に謝れ」などと大声で叫び、退廷させられる場面もあった。 ( The cout room was filled with 70 people, one of Korean male screamed "APOLOGIZE TO PEOPLE OF KOREAN!!". Throwing raw eggs.) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20141127-00050057-yom-soci

You see? This really tells what kind of people they are. They just love to make Japan a bad guy and put themselves(Koreans) in a position to blame Japan.

"Aplogize!, Japan!"..over what?

while we, Japan never asked Korean thief an aplogy to entire Japanese nation for stealing budda statues.

It is amazing that people still don'T know where the heck korean president, Park, actuall was during accident. Dont you think pursuing her location and what she was doing, or what she should've done is a job for media , which actually works for Korean public? I mean , what this japanese journalist has done is actually doing a favor for Korean public interest.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

It reflects very badly on South Korea-one hopes Japan doesn't go that road. The government's new secrecy laws could be a step in that direction.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Until the late 1980s, South Korea was ruled by a succession of military dictators, including Park’s father, Park Chung-hee, who suppressed journalists and dissenters

It seems that daughter longs for father's dictatorship again. Like father, like daughter!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

One assumes the reporter checked his facts thoroughly before making the allegation? If he did, and he is correct, the Korean government should be investigating the matter. If he didn't check and the allegation is baseless, he'll have to take his punishment, harsh as it may seem. Insulting the head of state is a punishable crime in several countries.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I've almost believed that Korea has become a mentally and physically modernized country until this case happened, I'm so wrong!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't think theres something a Japanese citizen can go scotch free for saying while a foreigner would get indicted for here in Japan.

I've gone without scotch for 20 years now. Beats getting indicted!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ian Robertson

Whether right or wrong does not lead to a criminal case. It's called freedom of press and if they were wrong they can publish a formal public apology. That is how it is carried in ALL NATIONS that VALUES freedom of press.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A scapegoat who has to stand in to satisfy the Korean right wings.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Truth is the Republic of Korea is getting ready as its new role as vassal of the Peoples Republic of China. Both of them have been brainwashing their subjects for about 20 years and this is the final proof.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japanese journalist goes on trial for defaming S Korean president

President Park Chung-hee has been defamed by an evil Japanese journalist! How dare anyone re-report a story that a South Korean news agency reported about the right and great dear leader President Park Chung-hee! This Japanese reporter is lucky that the dear leader...........wait a second... what year is it?

Oh wait, the Japanese reporter was re-reporting a story made by South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo! Since Dear Leader President Park can't go after South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo she will do the next best thing, go after an evil Japanese journalist!

Oh those evil Japanese re-reporting stories our Dear Leader President doesn't want the public to ask about!

In this parks case the adage "the apple really doesn't very far from the tree" rings very true!

But, of course the usual Park defenders will be out in force trying to defend her Totalitarian rule.......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Ian Robertson

You're missing the point, insulting a head of state being a crime in certain states, true.

But a fair analogy here would be fox news giving a report that obama was not born in the USA, and CBC(from Canada) citing fox's report. Then the US legal system going after CBC while leaving Fox (who's report was cited) alone.

In other words if this dude was in shit for defaming Obama, then Fox (who's initial report defamed obama) would have to be in just as much trouble as CBC. But only CBC is getting the hot seat.

The problem here lies in the lack of consistency in enforcing the law (if such law actually exists in south korea), and what seems to be the racist motive behind it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Critics accuse South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s conservative government of clamping down on journalists in an attempt to control her image.

Daughter of a dictator. Is anyone really surprised?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You see? This really tells what kind of people they are

Let's not get carried away here. Those guys in the courtroom and with the eggs are from the loony right wing fringe. There does seem to be a substantial number of people on both sides of the Sea of Japan who hate each other and the South Korean government seems it has to pander to this hatred, hence this spurious prosecution. However, it could be regarded as racist to tar all Koreans with the same brush. I know some really nice, decent Korean people who live in Japan and there a lot of younger Koreans in Seoul who really dig certain aspects of Japanese culture.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Freedom of Speech in U/SA and Japan include married top officials' infidelity love life, PM Takeshita, President Clinton,

Sankei reporter copied S Korea gossip papers to report to Japan to let world believe Japanese love someone's private love and sex life..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

South Korea, you are emulating North Korea quite nicely.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In South Korea, they throw in jail. In North Korea, the throw you in the gulag.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is an embarrassment. I'd be angry as hell if I were a Korean, even if the journalist was Japanese. Imagine if the roles were reversed. Would the Japanese people every allow for prosecution of a Korean journalist reporting on rumors of a politician's whereabouts? They certainly wouldn't, and they'd be proud to stand up for journalistic freedom. Hopefully logical Koreans see through this and it can be used to mend some relations with Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@gubijinNOV. 28, 2014 - 06:01AM JST S. Korea is going back to days of the President's father. The U.S. always reports on Obama's being absent during some crisis, and Japan's PM Mori was said to have been playing golf when the fishing boat Ehime Maru sank off the coast of Hawaii. No one's been indicted for these stories.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Never such stories in USA. Are you sure foreign journalists wrote what you mentioned in their home countries?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

( The cout room was filled with 70 people, one of Korean male screamed "APOLOGIZE TO PEOPLE OF KOREAN!!". Throwing raw eggs.) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20141127-00050057-yom-soci

I admit the South Korean people are patriots, but their patriotism is a bit blind and reckless, rather close to nationalism. So the South Korean government should be more careful for them not to go extreme.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Either it was a lie or it wasn't. If it wasn't, deal with it and recognize that the horse isn't as high as their leader wishes it was. If it was, have the reporter bow and apologize then promise to not do it again. Either way - hardly a reason to create such an spectacle when there's far more important maters at hand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

toshikoNOV. 28, 2014 - 12:10AM JST Freedom of Speech in U/SA and Japan include married top officials' infidelity love life, PM Takeshita, President Clinton,

Sankei reporter copied S Korea gossip papers to report to Japan to let world believe Japanese love someone's private love and sex life.."

The Chosun Ilbo is a S. Korean gossip paper? It is supposed to be S. Korea's leading newspaper.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@A Reakist: Sorry, . I correct. South Korean Gossip Article. But aren't there gossip magazines that had stories this Sankei reporter translated on Sankei? Please check.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Free speech - good.

Government control of speech - bad.

This "persecution" of a Japanese journalist - stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The crux of the problem here, as originally reported, is that the Korean news articles read by Tatsuya Kato were deliberately very careful with their wording. They were afraid of possible consequences.

They included the name of the SK President and the name of the man with whom the rumours suggested she was with, but in different parts of the same article. In other words, the Korean news reports left the reader to put two and two together, whereas Kato actually put them together in his reporting, overstepping a legal line in the minds of some within Korean government circles. (Someone who thought he/she could read and understand his not very well written and rather complicated Japanese expression, that is.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@nandakanda: Even I did not write the name of gossip magazines, A Rask wrote the name of a Korean Newspaper: So, expect you will leatn the names of Korean newspapers that wrote this story.

If she stayed with a man, and did not know the ship incident, she did not ignore purposely. She did not cause ship trouble, Her private life, this journalist dug. He definitely is familiar with Japanese politicians' private life and wrote the article.like he would with Japanese politicians. Trouble is that she is a respected head in Korea, unlike Japanese politicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toshiko san, thank you for the reply. You have shed a slightly different light on the matter for me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So much for a democratic society! Starting to look more like a dictatorship. This situation is just plain nuts! You figure they'd have more important things to do than waste their time on who the South Korean President was with, and what they were doing. Smells like a diversionary tactic!! Lol...................

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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