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Court denies damages in defamation suit over 'comfort women' stories

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Presiding Judge Katsuya Hara ruled Uemura was defamed in an online research paper by Nishioka alleging the 1991 articles were "fabricated" and similar criticism in the weekly magazine, but the judge denied damages on the grounds the defendants had intended to "serve the public good."

"Served the public good" by calling the "truth" a lie? Strange justice once again. Guilty as charged, but no repercussions!

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Ok folks.

Lying is serving the public good.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Can't help but wonder if this judge is a Nippon Kaigi member.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Anyone thinking the justice system in Japan is fair, impartial or in anyway mentally agile or independent, must have gone to school here.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

"Can't help but wonder if this judge is a Nippon Kaigi member."

By Japanese law. Judges can't be a member of any political organizations.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Ooh boy.

The bar has been set pretty low for judges these days.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Uemura was defamed and should have been awarded damages. He also has to pay his own legal costs which is common here.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I love Japan - which is why I'm commenting on what I see as a judicial failing.

Especially so the following -

"....Uemura also claimed his right to live a normal life was violated as the criticism led to threatening calls and letters while he was working as a lecturer at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo.

But the court rejected the claims, saying the defendants "merely questioned" whether Uemura was qualified to be a university lecturer...."*

For those of us who have been here "a while", and followed this case at the time, know that the "merely questioned" statement to be absurd. No one with any amount of common sense could arrive at such a decision. Uemura was consistently harrassed as was his family.

Sadly one can only assume the great dragon of Sontaku rears it's head again - leaving no trail of evidence.

Andalwaysspeaking..... - one does not have to be a card carrying member of an association to be sympathetic to it's causes. I've written about this before a couple of times, but I'll mention it again. I met on a couple of occasions a High Court judge in my city - his wife was my long time student. Over dinner I was surprised both had a quite conservative approach to the Nanking "incident", believing it to be a mere war time scuffle. But that was the least surprising of many comments. A big one was that they both believed Earthlings came from another world on space ships a few thousand years ago. He - the Judge - didn't watch tv or read news, but preferred to listen to radio - and classical music & opera. He had photos of Maria Callas next to his vast collection of records.

So, yes - al elite judges are not necessarily on the same page as us mere commoners.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Call them sex slaves please.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Those who neither know about this issue nor read Japanese news in Japanese but making knee-jerk comments relying only on this poorly translated article, please think twice before referring to entire Japanese justice. Please.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

@showchinmono,

Those who neither know about this issue nor read Japanese news in Japanese but making knee-jerk comments relying only on this poorly translated article, please think twice before referring to entire Japanese justice. Please.

Well, I know about this issue and read / watch Japanese news in Japanese, as I presume you do based on this comment.

Assuming you do, what issue(s), exactly, do you have with comments with respect to this specific case or to the Japanese justice system in its entirety?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The decision read out by presiding judge was…..

Although Nishioka’s article had some description carrying the nature of lowering, to some degree, Uemura’s (social) reputation, there is “reality” (or “truth”) in important (some) parts Nishioka pointed out, and hence Nishioka’s inference can be judged as reasonable. ……… snip…..considering it(Incorrect article by Uemura) could possibly affect public welfare, it cannot be judged as deviating from freedom of description….snip ”

Uemura’s story was not “truth” as you probably know.

And hence, those comments above jumping on and bashing entire Japanese justice by this Kyodo English news seem crossing the line.

Basically Uemura’s strategy is: “Everybody else were a sort of the same as I was” style. but Uemura knew it’s not “the truth”

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Another completely illogical verdict. Where do they find these judges?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Its hard to judge without seeing the articles in question, but, I do feel that failure to say "I think its a lie" and just saying "Its a lie." should be punished remorselessly unless the person has some pretty damn good evidence it is a lie.

I get that this Nishioka guy may not have believed Uemura's story (even though I doubt it severely cause generally people doubting such stories deny that any comfort woman could have been a sex slave ie, they deny obvious history). But just how does the judge divine Nishioka's intent and come up with "he did it for the public good"? Again, I would really need to see the articles in question, plus I would need to see a lot more articles and such where this guy voices his opinion on related topics. But I think odds are slim I would find good in Nishioka as for me, the public good is served by the truth alone and I never see these deniers accepting the truth.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

No amount of money will ever be enough to compensate for what these women (or their families) suffered, no amount. At the same time, it's shameful that the victims have been victimized a second time by not receiving more compensation from the very organizations which were set up to help them. Charitable businesses gone bad or corrupt (yet again).

Think about it, how much money has the Japanese government paid to S. Korea over the past few decades (a lot of money) regarding this comfort woman issue and how much have the victims actually received. There's something wrong with this picture, like looking into a black hole.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Think about it, how much money has the Japanese government paid to S. Korea over the past few decades (a lot of money) regarding this comfort woman issue and how much have the victims actually received. There's something wrong with this picture, like looking into a black hole.

It's well known that 39 senior members of NGO which Uemura's mother in law initiated, got busted for the fraud

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Given that so many Japanese use the tabloid's claims that Uemura's stories were false as "proof" that no atrocities occurred, it is astounding that the judge would not award any monetary penalties. Well... I guess not. It is Japan, after all.

showchinmono: "It's well known that 39 senior members of NGO which Uemura's mother in law initiated, got busted for the fraud"

Proof again that people will see what they just want to see, and not the facts.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

expat: "Another completely illogical verdict. Where do they find these judges?"

It's the bell-jar system here. "You committed a terrible act! Suspended sentence!!" or "They are guilty, we recognise, but we cannot punish them!"

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

smithinjapanToday  12:34 pm JST

Given that so many Japanese use the tabloid's claims that Uemura's stories were false as "proof" that no atrocities occurred, it is astounding that the judge would not award any monetary penalties. Well... I guess not. It is Japan, after all.

showchinmono: "It's well known that 39 senior members of NGO which Uemura's mother in law initiated, got busted for the fraud"

Proof again that people will see what they just want to see, and not the facts.

Do you know what you are talking about? Uemura's articles in question about mixing up 挺身隊 or 強制連行 or  連行 were complete false.

And 39 members of NGO got busted and some of them got convicted guilty* This is the fact.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Many Japanese will think that it is a natural result for this decision. (Irony against Uemura is included.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

show chi mono: coerced prostitution, sexual slavery, making, etc. THOSE are facts. Do you deny them?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Errr no the base of the trail was one man writing about the truth then a publishing company and a web site defaming him claiming his facts about sex slaves was false.

As the judge himself said he was factually right it just doesn't fit the government narrative. So as the government pays my wages....suffer.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Frankly, the above article gives far too little information for people to even begin making an informed judgment on the merits. However, the limited information suggests it is similar to a case discussed in two articles at the below site:

https://japan-forward.com/tag/takashi-uemura/

It seems to be about the same article, with the players doing the same basic things. So it can be studied as a reference.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@smithinjapanToday 12:34 pm JST

Given that so many Japanese use the tabloid's claims that Uemura's stories were false as "proof" that no atrocities occurred, it is astounding that the judge would not award any monetary penalties. Well... I guess not. It is Japan, after all.

The judge said less, for your side, than you wish he had.

First, it is very easy to defame (legally) in Japan. It is measured by whether your statement lowered the other's social reputation. The fact your statement is completely the truth does not change this. So the judge could have found that Uemura did fabricate (which is more than just "false", to fabricate means he purposely made a false article, which is worse than just being wrong or even negligent) the 1991 article and still call Nishioka's article defamatory, because it lowers Uemura's reputation.

There are two justificatory prongs - truth and public interest. You need both to justify lowering another person's reputation, which has a larger weight in Japan than in say the US. The fact Nishioka wasn't punished meant the judge found substantial amounts of both.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

smithinjapanToday  01:55 pm JST

show chi mono: coerced prostitution, sexual slavery, making, etc. THOSE are facts. Do you deny them?

I wouldn't deny the cases where some went through atrocious experience caused by Korean brokers and Korean house owners who did not care whatsoever about the pain and suffering of the victims. You cannot, if you know even a bit about the history such as young women had been treated as inferior "thing" in the history of the peninsula and even after WW2 through Korean war up until recently, and even now. Your endless posts claiming ALL WERE VICTIMS of the JAPANESE is just DISGUSTING.

And my handle name is showchinmono It is not show chi mono.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Show

ALL WERE VICTIMS of the JAPANESE is just DISGUSTING

So, it isn't fair to judge Japan role in enslaving women because other people did it too!

Do you not see the fallacy in that thinking?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

So, it isn't fair to judge Japan role in enslaving women because other people did it too!

Do you not see the fallacy in that thinking?

So tell me, out of so-said 200,000 Korean victims, how many are genuine victims enforced by the hand of Japanese soldiers to work as sex slaves. If Koreans wouldn't do such atrocious thing, how come there were

so many of "Ianfu" existing through Korean War up until recently, who are now suing the government.

This is about fallacy in thinking ALL WERE VICTIMS of the JAPANESE

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

So tell me, out of so-said 200,000 Korean victims, how many are genuine victims enforced by the hand of Japanese soldiers to work as sex slaves. If Koreans wouldn't do such atrocious thing, how come there were

so many of "Ianfu" existing through Korean War up until recently, who are now suing the government.

This is about fallacy in thinking ALL WERE VICTIMS of the JAPANESE

Did he say they were all victims? Strawman argument! Second, does it matter how many victims there were? The point is Japan enslaved women for sex like they enslave people and brought them back to Japan. Are you going to down play that too?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So tell me, out of so-said 200,000 Korean victims, how many are genuine victims enforced by the hand of Japanese soldiers to work as sex slaves. If Koreans wouldn't do such atrocious thing, how come there were 

so many of "Ianfu" existing through Korean War up until recently, who are now suing the government.

*This is about fallacy in thinking *ALL WERE VICTIMS of the JAPANESE

Did he say they were all victims? Strawman argument! Second, does it matter how many victims there were? The point is Japan enslaved women for sex like they enslave people and brought them back to Japan. Are you going to down play that too?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Strange ruling as far as the English/American common law approach to defamation, where proving defamation is the sticking point, not damages, as damages can be nominal.

Go figure that Japanese judges don't follow English common law....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Silvafan

Did he say they were all victims? Strawman argument! Second, does it matter how many victims there were? The point is Japan enslaved women for sex like they enslave people and brought them back to Japan. Are you going to down play that too?

 

No it’s not Strawman at all. Ask him if he thinks all of them were victims. If he does, ask him if he thinks all were victims only of the Japanese. I bet he does think so in both or he wouldn’t reply.

Sure the number of genuine victims does matter if you’re talking about the ones who were enslaved for sex directly by Japan as a national policy. Victim-cases, when they happened, were caused by their fellow Koreans. Korean brokers, Korean house masters. It’s not Japan ordered them to enslave them, which is obvious from the fact the same went on in the peninsula before and even after Japan-ruling era.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

showchinmono: Agree - we should not judge the Japanese justice system by one article, whether it is or isn't well-translated. However, you rather glibly seem to educe, without any reference or basis on your own, that Uemura's "truth" isn't -the- truth. Your position doesn't seem to hold water. Following an interest in things Japanese for more than 50 years and having lived there for nearly 20 years, I've seen case after case where the "reasoning" a "judge" uses for deciding a case is based not on the written rule of law, or even the spirit of the law, but rather on his personal assessment of the dynamics (read: not facts) of the case. So, perhaps "justice" here is a relative term, served in Japan without the standards applied in many other countries that do follow the rule of law.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

kokoro7

I do have my own basis but I don’t expect anyone to agree with it. As for reference, It’s very often not worth providing source to some posters here simply because they just don’t care about the fact. Plus, for some unknown reasons, my posts with links very often get deleted.

In this case, both Asahi and Uemura himself admit his article in 1991 contains some critical errors. The fact.

You know how it was like in 1991 about this comfort women issue?. Kim Hak-soon, the first ever real comfort women suddenly showed up. Echoed with fake story by Seiji Yoshida, people criticizing Japan was desperate in looking around for more proofs of forcible abduction of Korean women by IJA. Without efforts made by Nishioka and other’s pointing out those errors which were spread around through one of major Japanese media, People might still now believe IJA actually did hunt Korean young girls in daytime on the street, I dare say, like the case happened in Dutch-India. I believe the court decision correct in judging Nishioka’s article did benefit social welfare. Uemura’s attitude in preparing the article in question is far from the one a professional reporter should assume considering the effect the article itself had or general power media has. You know? Seiji Yoshida did not yet admit his story was complete fake at the time. So again, even if Nishioka’s description could be a little overdone, in my opinion, that’s nothing. Uemura knew those were not true. How he couldn’t ? despite Kim herself testified differently and her testimonies were broadly known? Write article based only by the tape recording his mother in law gave him? Without any sort of fact checking with her? Not even checking her actual testimonies?

Come on. It’s not some kids’ school news paper.        

 

There is only one fact but truth could look different depending on your view. I agree. Court decision is not necessarily truth. I agree. But this case, The court made a right decision.

Including myself, many would personally want to ask Uemura. Why then, you kept hiding and running away everytime Nishioka or others kept asking your intention since then for as long as 23 years!  

0 ( +3 / -3 )

kokoro7

I also add. for those including yourself, there is no such reason Japan justice should follow how British/American common law are like, and the decision of this case so far do match spirits of the law, if not

written law.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

showchinmono: "I wouldn't deny the cases where some went through atrocious experience caused by Korean brokers and Korean house owners "

But you won't recognise the atrocities committed by Japanese. You can't even say it!

"No it’s not Strawman at all. Ask him if he thinks all of them were victims. If he does, ask him if he thinks all were victims only of the Japanese. I bet he does think so in both or he wouldn’t reply."

No need for someone else to ask me -- I'll tell you straight that not all were victims of the Japanese, and yes, Koreans did some lousy things as well, but almost all were committed by Japanese, including FORCING Koreans to cooperate, and you can't even say ANY were the victims of the Japanese. Not once have you admitted any single crime Japan has committed. Not one. You've called it lies, or said you'd admit Koreans did it (and not at all at the barrel of a gun). THAT is why your comments are meaningless on this topic. It's everyone else's fault, but never, ever Japan's.

If I'm wrong, prove me wrong.... fell free to admit Japanese coerced prostitutes, committed the rape of Nanking, and other atrocities.

You won't do it, though. I already know that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

 smithinjapan

Welcome back!  Like Super Junior, I am sorry sorry sorry that I didn’t even expect you didn’t run away

 

*showchinmono: "I wouldn't deny the cases where some went through atrocious experience caused by Korean brokers and *Korean house owners "

But you won't recognise the atrocities committed by Japanese. You can't even say it!

"No it’s not Strawman at all. Ask him if he thinks all of them were victims. If he does, ask him if he thinks all were victims only of the Japanese. I bet he does think so in both or he wouldn’t reply."

No need for someone else to ask me -- I'll tell you straight that not all were victims of the Japanese, and yes, Koreans did some lousy things as well, but almost all were committed by Japanese,

 

“Almost all” is nearly equal to ALL,  Bingo

Silvafan ! I hope you read this and know I was not a Strawman.

 

including FORCING Koreans to cooperate,

 

Oh Yes, Japanese soldiers probably beat up and tortured Korean brokers and Korean house owners to do as they said. The reason why Koreans had been treating women in the same way  before the war, must be that they were too afraid of “Wakoku(倭国)”, they couldn't help witch-hunting girls and sending them to their Chinese masters. Their  Kisaeng culture was actually imported from Japanese Yoshiwara. And even after the war , being so heavily traumatized by their horrible experience through the Japan-ruling era, they couldn't stop enslaving women as 5th supplies up until recently. Yeah I hear they say  “ We learned and took over Japanese sex-slave system for the 5th supplies in Korean War and Lai-Dai-Han in Vietnam War"

 

and you can't even say ANY were the victims of the Japanese. Not once have you admitted any single crime Japan has committed. Not one. You've called it lies, or said you'd admit Koreans did it (and not at all at the barrel of a gun).

 

So, you’re saying Korean brokers and house managers deceived or beat up girls as they were at the barrel of a gun. Really?  It’s so apart from historical records like, let’s say,” the diary of Korean house manager” only if you ever know about it.

 

 THAT is why your comments are meaningless on this topic. It's everyone else's fault, but never, ever Japan's.

 

Meaningless comments are the ones which ignore the facts but repeat the same thing again and again for years, no matter what, just like brainwashing the people in the compound..

 

 

If I'm wrong, prove me wrong....

 

I have done and proved you are wrong from time to time but you just run away. what a shame.

 

You won't do it, though. I already know that.

 

Here I am. Do come back again and never run away. I am always here to continue this forever as long as mods let us do so. Do NOT RUN AWAY! And I don't mind continuing in other threads coming up with you

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

kokoro7

Doctrine of Truth and Relevance under Japanese Law

真実性・相当性の法理は、問題とされている表現行為が、特定人の社会的評価を低下させるものであっても、公共の具体的な利害に関係があることを事実を以って摘示するもので(公共性)、その目的が専ら公益を図ることにあり(公益性)、摘示した事実が真実(真実性)または真実であると信ずるについて相当な理由のあるとき(真実相当性)は名誉毀損は成立しないとする法理である[57]。

In brief, the description in question, even if , it lowers social reputation of a specific person, as far as it concerns the interests of the public...snip....when there are truth equivalency existing in such description...snip... the crime of defamation-libel is not formulated.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Showchinono - your proof as you put it, only presents the issue from 1 side - yours.

There are troves of resources with contrary stories to tell written in Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino etc.

Nothing is clear cut.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

browny1 June 29  10:59 pm JST

Showchinono - your proof as you put it, only presents the issue from 1 side - yours.

There are troves of resources with contrary stories to tell written in Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino etc.

Nothing is clear cut.

Troves of resources with contrary stories to which part of my posts? May I ask you?

I hope you let smith know this Nothing is clear cut

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Showchi - Thanks for your comment.

You said -

*"...Troves of resources with contrary stories to which part of my posts? May I ask you?..."*

And ask you may.

showchinmonoJune 27 09:20 am JST

"...Those who neither know about this issue nor read Japanese news in Japanese but making knee-jerk comments relying only on this poorly translated article..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1

You're not making sense here. I meant this issue being Uemura vs Nishioka/others defamation case.

Uemura himself already admitted his article about a Korean comfort woman contain the factual errors.

The question is whether it was intentional or not.

I guess you probably meant contrary stories about comfort women victims in general written in language other than Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Showchinmono - yep - you got it.

This Whole Issue has many many differing points of view with many many articles, reports, books etc written as you said in languages other than Japanese.

Which is why those who try to claim some sort of absolutism re this are doomed to be taken lightly in the least or completely ignored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1

And did you go through all of those written in multiple language?

Besides, contrary to your summing up like that, as far as comfort women from the peninsula are concerned, typical Korean narratives got less and less supporting from both inside/outside the peninsula.

AND I was not referring to Sex Crimes on the battlefield by each soldiers but whether Japan ordered enslaving women as a national policy for sex or not, against cowardly cover-ups of the disputed point with xonvinient terms like " this whole issue" or " atrocities" often done by the ilks to smithinjapan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Showchinmono - thanks for your reply.

Now you have explained in more detail what you meant which isn't what you said in the initial post I was referring to.

And Have I read all of the accounts written in other languages? Of course not. For arguments sake I don't need to read Russian to know that they hold a different view to WW2 than say the Germans or Japanese or British for that matter.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "cowardly cover-ups of the disputed point with convenient terms like "this whole issue..". If you are referring to my use of the term "whole issue" as some kind of obfuscation of the details, then you are mistaken. Any such historical incident cannot be condensed to a singularity, but rather needs to be addressed as the sum of many parts which all contributed to the outcome. Such is life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now you have explained in more detail what you meant which isn't what you said in the initial post I was referring to.

My very 1st post in this thread, was

June 27  09:20 am JSTPosted in: Court denies damages in defamation suit over 'comfort women' stories  See in context

Those who neither know about this issue nor read Japanese news in Japanese but making knee-jerk comments relying only on this poorly translated article, please think twice before referring to entire Japanese justice. Please.

There, I was only talking about the lawsuit filed by Uemura against Nishioka/Others, hence there could not be

troves of resources with contrary stories written in other language with regard to this court judgement.

Then, smithinjapan showed up as usual with lots of nonsense, started, yeah, obfuscating the details and covered up the disputed point ( defamation case) by repeating his favorite "atrocities", " Admit!" etc.

So I shifted my discussion point slightly fine-tuning it to counter him as usual.

So which one would you like to continue? this defamation case or comfort women in general?

Any such historical incident cannot be condensed to a singularity, but rather needs to be addressed as the sum of many parts which all contributed to the outcome. Such is life.

Yep, that might be true in general, but Sorry I am not impressed with such statement. If you mean this statement also applicable to this defamation case, you are dead wrong. Like I repeatedly said, Uemura himself admitted his article contained fundamental errors. And if you mean that being about comfort women issue in general, as far as the peninsula is concerned, things got much clearer compared to say 90's, thanks for both Japanese and Korean scholars and others for not simply leaving the issue highly biased, fabricated.

In that sense, you are correct in saying Any such historical incident cannot be condensed to a singularity=Korean narratives

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Showchinmono- Thanks again.

Actually your first post only mentioned "this issue" (on my monitor anyway) which I took quite fairly to mean the whole issue. I've already addressed this, so I'll leave it at that.

And my comment re singularities can actually apply to any commenter from any background whether they be Korean, Japanese or otherwise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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