national

S Korean activist slams Japanese journalist in court

34 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

"(Kato) insulted the South Korean people by picking up groundless allegations,” he said.

Hahahaha. This just made my morning. Park's personal life is an insult to the Koreans? Hahaha

14 ( +19 / -5 )

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

There's your problem. How stupid. And this Chang guy is a piece of something all right.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The revelations by South Korea’s shady dealings are forcing the country to understand the deep-seated corruption. The ferry sinking exposed a darker side of South Korea goverment that plays by bribes. The problem is embedded in the South Korea’s bureaucracy and it emphasizes family connections, regional ties and friendships forged in school. Corruption in Korea is a kind of time-honored tradition without which social success would be almost impossible.

The vaguely worded clauses in the law are being used to target arbitrarily individuals and groups perceived to be critical of the government. No one is denying the right of South Korea to ensure the security of its citizens, but that is not what is being witnessed. The controversial clause is Article 7 that provides for imprisonment for up to seven years for anyone who ‘praises, incites or propagates the activities of an anti-government organization. ' This defined clauses in the NSL have left it open for substantial increase in abuse by the police and security services in the last five years.

South Korea may have laws protecting freedom of speech and publication. However, problem with any laws on defamation is that they do not tell you what you may do and they lay down in broad terms what you may not do. You can defame a person by repeating words spoken by someone else. There is no defense to claim that you were only quoting someone else. One thing you should always remember, if there is any fear in your mind that you might be committing defamation, ask for professional legal advice before publishing.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I'm amazed that the courts decided to let this go to trial. This makes the nation of South Korea look very backward to the rest of the advanced economies.

Until now, I had now idea the South Korean government is so oppressive, and would have expected this sort of outcome from North Korea, but not South Korea.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Until now, I had now idea the South Korean government is so oppressive, and would have expected this sort of outcome from North Korea, but not South Korea.

This because you think democracy does exist somewhere. No. Sadly, no.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Korea has after all never changed before WWII. They have election, but presidents are considered as kings. The election is meare a system of changing dynasties. They do not understand what is a constitutional state and democracy. So sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh look, we have a one Korea that oppresses freedom of speech.

SK you can try and pretend all you like to the rest of the world that you're a 21st century country. But the cracks in your falseness are starting to crack bigger and bigger, slowly revealing yourselves to be just like your NK brothers.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I honestly thought I was going to read something about how this conservative activist points out how something in Kato's article that clearly outdoes the original Korean articles and oversteps the bounds of what can be considered "for the good of the general public".

But yeah, I guess this really is a case of, "free speech is fine so long as it doesn't come from a Japanese national".

12 ( +12 / -0 )

What are the other SK newspapers saying about this? They surely must be shocked at this ridiculous trial

5 ( +6 / -1 )

South Korea's state security apparatus uses laws on secrecy and subversion to suppress information the ruling party dislikes and locks up the messengers.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This hinges on two very important points:

1) Did she actually go to meet a lover?

2) Did she go meet a lover knowing full well of the disaster?

Cause if she did not know of the disaster full well (such as its scale) then its bullox to criticize her or report on her for what people do naturally when they are not aware of a disaster. In that case, its totally defamation. Its double defamation if it was printed as fact rather than speculation but there is no proof. It would most certainly NOT be in the public interest.

If South Korean papers printed the same I don't know. But if he printed it first he takes the heat, cause the others will go off of what he said.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Abe has inacted simulator laws, again Japan copies it's closest neighbours.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

KariHaruka: "SK you can try and pretend all you like to the rest of the world that you're a 21st century country. But the cracks in your falseness are starting to crack bigger and bigger, slowly revealing yourselves to be just like your NK brothers."

Your basis for this is on the idea that South Korea is not allowing freedom of the press? Sorry, Kari, but did you miss the fact that Japan has just allowed in a Secrets Law that allows the government to control all media? So, by your very definition Japan is even MORE like NK than South Korea is! Well done, KariHaruka. Might want to think about that a little, as others should, before saying any quelling of freedom of speech makes them the same as North Korea.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Somewhat ironic given that the Sankei is normally a blind follower of Abe's policies, including presumably the secrecy laws which are designed to create in Japan exactly this sort of opaque system which S. Korea seems to have already, judging by this case. A system whereby the government can randomly decide what is bad to suit itself, and the so-called judicial system will obediently do its bidding.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is what I recall from googling a bunch and posting in other JT threads on the topic.

Not "rumurs circulating in the South Korean media and brokerages", but one Chosun Ilbo article by columnist Choi Bosik and some anonymous posts on financial market blog(s). Kato's article, in saying that maybe the President met with her former staffer, joined two ideas in Choi Bosik's article in Chosun Ilbo that Choi had separated. If Google translations of Choi's article and Choi's later response to Kato's article are correct (and correctly interpreted), Choi did not make the connection that Kato did and also condemned Kato's article. First, did not make the connection, maybe because he was too clever to get caught as Kato was, and second, condemned Kato maybe to avoid getting dragged down with Kato, still, there it is. Kato's own Japanese colleague on Sankei Shimbun's Korean bureau, possessed as he said of 20 years experience in Korea as opposed to Kato's 3 years, said he himself wouldn't have made Kato's mistake. (This is all caveat emptor as I'm going from memory of posts in the other threads.)

This is all available to English media if they'd bother digging a little but they don't seem to be interested in forwarding it to the rest of us, possibly because they're enamored of Kato's cause but more likely that global news media has become largely parroters of snippets passed around from other bureaus.

Downside for Pres. Park even if the basis of the suit is correct is that it appears to have opened up a can of worms re the former staffer's influence and her brother's influence and attempts to cover those up. Even one police sergeant's suicide is connected to the coverup of the internal document cited in the JT article above:

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/12/116_169843.html

Police officer suspected of presidential document leak commits suicide

A police officer suspected of leaking a sensitive presidential document that has created a major political mayhem in South Korea was found dead in an apparent suicide Saturday, investigators said. ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Would they have made such a big case out of this if the journalist had come from a country other than Japan? Would they have investigated and made arrest in the first place if, for instance, the journalist came from the U.S? Or if the newspaper was not a Japanese newspaper, would they have taken the same approach? I hope they will come to their senses soon.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@theeastisred

the government can randomly decide what is bad to suit itself.

I'm no fan of the special secrecy law, but you can't go around lying. The scope of the law is limited to 1 - defense 2 - foreign affairs 3 - prevention of acts that are detrimental to japan and beneficial to foreign countries 4 - counter terrorist measures.

Thats not random.

@ Cricky

Almost every country in the world has defamation laws, and Abe surely wasn't the one to pass the Japanese one.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Would they have made such a big case out of this if the journalist had come from a country other than Japan?

It's not just a "Japan" issue. The Sankei is a filthy right-wing propaganda rag, and its evening incarnation, the Yukan Fuji, carries three or four articles bashing Korea in every issue. I can't figure out why the S. Korean government even allows Sankei to operate a bureau in Seoul. Deport Kato and shut down the bureau. Case closed.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

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

I bet Abe is watching this trial very carefully. He had already amended his constitutional draft to include this idea. Damn those Koreans for bringing this up just before Abe's quiet constitutional unveil.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Politics

Don't you know we have already hung the blame on the captain. Government and Park very scared to get more involved so will pull any stunt like this to deflect further scrutiny and what easier way for Korean crowd manipulation that a Japanese subject to be angry with and hide behind.

Korean and Chinese politics hey.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Korea stop being so stupid, its embarrassing!

There is just too much stupidity in this part of the world with china, korea & japan all looking the fool all too often, enough already or none of you will be allowed to play in the sandbox anymore!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Your basis for this is on the idea that South Korea is not allowing freedom of the press? Sorry, Kari, but did you miss the fact that Japan has just allowed in a Secrets Law that allows the government to control all media? So, by your very definition Japan is even MORE like NK than South Korea is! Well done, KariHaruka. Might want to think about that a little, as others should, before saying any quelling of freedom of speech makes them the same as North Korea.

smithinjapan, at what point did I mention Japan in my post? Why bring up a law that Japan has just enacted just to assume that I don't know about it or what my opinions are on it? Oh wait, I was just talking about SK being very similar to NK in denying freedom of speech by sending people to prison for anything that they don't agree with. Perhaps YOU should think a little before saying anything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A South Korean conservative activist...

The key word here is 'activist'. Nuff said.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

F4HA604DEC. @theeastisred the government can randomly decide what is bad to suit itself. I'm no fan of the special secrecy law, but you can't go around lying. The scope of the law is limited to 1 - defense 2 - foreign affairs 3 - prevention of acts that are detrimental to japan and beneficial to foreign countries 4 - counter terrorist measures. Thats not random.

In the opposite situation where a Korean journalist had written about the Japanese prime minister or Emperor (the S. Korean president being both head of government and head of state) in the way that Kato wrote about Park, items 2 and 3 on your list, 'foreign affairs' and 'acts detrimental to japan and beneficial to foreign countries', could easily be applied by the Japanese government of the day under the new secrecy law. If you don't like the word 'random', then let's say arbitrary and opaque.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That will be a real stretch. The President (or Prime Minister's) domestic actions cannot be constred as foreign affairs. Also, note that you are not allowed to leak measures regarding the "prevention of acts". The act itself is not covered by this law.

In any case, it is unfair, to the point of justifying any allegations of being anti-Japanese, to equate a law that's ostensibly a potential threat and a law that has already been actively used to the detriment of freedom of speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are you girls mad? Picking on each other without knowing whats going on.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

whether what was said or written was in the public interest...

And who defines the "public interest?" The government or those in power. SK is starting to sound like Thailand with the anti-defamation laws.

I have to agree though that the new Japanese secrecy law could very easily be used in the same fashion. It hasn't yet but the potential is there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe has inacted simulator laws, again Japan copies it's closest neighbours.

"Abe has enacted similar laws. Again, Japan copies its closest neighbours." There, fixed it for you. But I have to take issue with your premise. South Korea's use of a defamation law to censor the press seems more in-line with Thailand's tendency to jail anyone who says something considered negative about their king. While Japan has recently enacted beefed-up secrecy laws, I can't really say I've heard of Japan charging anyone over criticizing Abe. Until they do, you can't say that this is an example of Japan copying its closest neighbors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Interesting to see commentators bashing SK media, when major new papers in the US such as the LA Times, NY Times, and Washington Post are bashing the Japanese media and Abe for their white washing of WW2.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-revisionism-20141212-story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/opinion/comfort-women-and-japans-war-on-truth.html?_r=0

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/yomiuri-japans-biggest-newspaper-apologizes-for-using-term-sex-slaves/2014/11/28/a37fd07d-b983-4990-b2a6-318f6b67d047_story.html

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abe has inacted simulator laws, again Japan copies it's closest neighbours.

Huh? It's a defamation law brought forth by a civic group against a Sankei reporter who was merely reporting the 'rumors' surrounding Pak whereabouts citing Chosun Ilbo and other sources. Prosecution office was dumb enough to pursue it this far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Karikakura

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Park has condemned “groundless” allegations over her personal life and administration.

I enjoy reading groundless allegations as well, but if they were that groundless, why spend so much time and money covering them up?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@theeastisred

Although I disagree with how you think the reciprocal situation would be applicable under the special secrecy law in Japan, I'm not going to debate with you about it being arbitrary, because I agree, hence I dont like the law neither as I stated in my earlier message.

You're right, I simply didn't like how you framed it as being random, cuz "random" and "open to interpretation within a finite scope" arent the same.

You can dislike something, like how I dislike both ultranationalists and extreme communists, but that doesn't justify making stuff up about them and throwing it on the pile to frame them as being worse than they really are.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese should "calm down!" about everything, unless it's related to Korea's WWII endless victim complex.

If Rocket News/JT wanted to really help the situation, they'd report on how this issue was being covered in the K-masukomi, and online. We can't know these things because we don't speak Korean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites