Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said this week he plans to sue the magazine Shukan Asahi and the Asahi group over an article the magazine ran last October about his family background.
Hashimoto, 43, who also co-heads the Japan Restoration Party, told a news conference in Osaka that he is seeking compensation for damages caused by the magazine article, Sports Nippon reported Thursday.
After Shukan Asahi published the article -- which was supposed to be the first in a series -- Hashimoto threatened legal action. The article referred to Hashimoto’s father as a “burakumin” with yakuza connections. Furthermore, the story made comparisons between Hashimoto and German dictator Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. The magazine said the aim of the article was to give readers a close-up look at Hashimoto who was becoming a significant player in national politics in the lead-up to last December's lower house election.
However, the magazine quickly published a two-page apology, canceled the rest of the articles in the series and its president resigned. That seemed to be the end of the matter and Hashimoto turned his attention to the December election.
But in the April 12 issue of Shukan Asahi, a story said that Hashimoto had peaked as a popular news figure and with Japan Restoration Party co-founder Shintaro Ishihara returning from hospital, he (Hashimoto) was losing his ability to influence national politics.
Hashimoto responded on Twitter -- where he has more than 1 million followers -- that the Asahi group keeps going after him. "They forgot what happened six months ago and how they had to apologize," he tweeted. He said the only way to settle the issue is through legal action.© Japan Today