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Japanese journalist arrives home after S Korea lifts travel ban

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This reporter was only reporting what had already been reported in the Korean press. So much for a free press in Korea if you aren't Korean.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

"South Korean defamation law focuses on whether what was said or written was in the public interest—rather than whether it was true."

I'm wondering if President Park and her former aide are required to provide evidence contrary to what Kato reported? Or is it a case of prosecutors simply accepting their version of events and defense lawyers not daring to thoroughly investigate?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

South Korean defamation law focuses on whether what was said or written was in the public interest—rather than whether it was true.

That is posilutely bass ackwards. Its even worse than the 18th century American definition of defamation which made it illegal to print anything that could harm a person's reputation even if true.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Whoa! They are just letting this guy go, I forgot about him :( Freedom of the press S Korea style I guess.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He should never return to that police state in SK.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

South Korean defamation law focuses on whether what was said or written was in the public interest—rather than whether it was true...and i thought North Korea is different.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

although the law is anachronistic, i am no fan of sankei and their nationalistic trash. they are no worse than the guys who drive around in the black vans, except that they hide under the cover or "journalism."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Evidence must be taken from the President & her former aide to establish position & location during the alleged 'disappearance' ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you South Korea for your gracious hospitality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just out of interest, does anybody know if any of the major western newspapers (NY Times, the Times, etc.) ran with this story? Looking at the bigger picture, I can understand the attraction for South Korea's ruling elite to target a Japanese news agency (playing the history card, etc.), however, I wonder if they would have tried the same draconian measures if the paper in question was somewhere with a large global reach.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A Japanese journalist, on trial for allegedly defaming South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, arrived home Tuesday after Seoul lifted a travel ban.

Actually, he is on trial for quoting an article that allegedly defaming the South Korean president. Interestingly, the South Korean legal system seems to have nothing to say about the fact that the article he quoted was a South Korean one written in Korean.

South Korea, perhaps it is time for your government and legal system to join the 21st century or, at the very least, get yourselves out of the 19th Century.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Japanese journalist arrives home after S Korea lifts travel ban"

Mainly due to U.S. government pressure.

"Kato must return to court later this month over his column regarding Park’s whereabouts on the day the Sewol ferry sank"

What if he doesn't return to Korea for this dumb trial? Will the Koreans kidnap him like they kidnapped Kim Dae Jung back in the 70s?

"The Sankei, a robust centre-right daily that has campaigned to reverse an apology from Japan for forcing Korean women into wartime brothels"

The Sankei chief editor should make a statement acknowledging Japan forced Korean women into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I haven't read his article but maybe he wrote like sex scandal? The way many Japanese weeklies report?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I do not like criminal libel laws, and Korea -- and Japan -- should be criticized for using them too freely. That is one of the reasons both countries have plunged in Reporters Without Borders rankings.

In this case, the Chosun Ilbo ran an opinion piece that Park Geun-hye's seeming passivity after the Sewol ferry tragedy allowed rumors to rise that she was having a secret meeting with someone. The Chosun Ilbo was warned but there was an understanding that the motivation was to encourage Park to her job right.

Kato spread the same rumor. But what was his motivation? Sankei has been well known for criticizing, belittling, and excoriating Park from even before she assumed office. So Kato's motivation was not to encourage Park to do better but to belittle and ridicule.

Again I do not criminal libel laws, but if anybody deserved to be prosecuted it is the bureau chief of a Japanese newspaper dedicated to anti-Korean sentiments.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I do not like criminal libel laws, and Korea -- and Japan -- should be criticized for using them too freely.

I don't remember Japan ever used criminal libel laws in my lifetime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

His column, published in the online edition of the Sankei in August, suggested the unmarried president had disappeared for an ill-timed tryst with her former aide.

The travel ban has been in force since days after the publication, and was scheduled to end this month.

The next hearing for the defamation trial is set for April 20.

“The ban was lifted on humanitarian and other grounds,” a senior prosecutor told AFP in Seoul.

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Note this is a defamation trial. Nothing to do with criminal law or trial.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Note this is a defamation trial. Nothing to do with criminal law or trial.

Did you read the article?

Kato has denied criminal libel, which could see him jailed for up to seven years, saying his objective had been to report the public perception of Park in the wake of the Sewol disaster.

It most certainly is a criminal case, and regardless of Sankei‘s politics, this is disgusting.

While in the end, this article may just a smear against President Park, one must wonder why she won‘t provide proof to the contrary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"South Korean defamation law focuses on whether what was said or written was in the public interest—rather than whether it was true."

Uh. Then it is not a "defamation" law.

It is a censorship law

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Black Sabbath: It is a censorship law like you stated. S Korea has camouflage laws. To punish journalists, criminal laws does not work well. So it has camouflage laws. These laws are also used against anti govt demonstrators.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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