politics

Japan hits out at S Korea over reporter's defamation charge

24 Comments

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I don't really think Japan is in any position to criticise press freedom now, is it?

-2 ( +17 / -21 )

Suga said "deplorable" instead of "regrettable," for a change.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

“It is contrary to the common values of the international community that law enforcement must be done in a reserved manner in the light of freedom of press, which is vital in a democracy,” Suga said.

I agree Mr. Suga. I think we should all save a copy of this article or the original source for when we start to see similar stories after Japan's secrecy law goes into effect.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

It is better to safeguard press freedom where threatened than to have to try to regain it where lost. The free press is on edge of a precipice.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

They knew it they're going to cross the line by pushing the story with unfounded rumors. Rather this is lowering the standard of japanese journalism. Already the japanese media is tainted with dirty tabloid journalism disregarding basic human privacy and decency. Shame on japanese for allowing a scumbag like that sankei ultra-nationalist reporter to attack on citizen of another country!

-12 ( +4 / -17 )

Following in the footsteps of their BFF, Communist China.

When South Korean reporters start getting arrested overseas we will see how childish South Korea will reacts.

Time for Japan and the U.S. To understand that South Korea is no longer a friend.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

This is really disgusting and short-sighted behavior of the S. Korean authorities.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday “We broadly support freedom of speech and expression.”

Only "broadly" support the freedom of the press -- not "totally"? Come on America, surely you can do better than that?

0 ( +4 / -5 )

"...an August 3 column about "rumors" concerning Park's whereabouts on the day the Sewol passenger ferry sank with the loss of 300 lives."

This article fails to go into details about the "rumors" being passed on. Seems that this rather anti-Korean newspaper alleged that the president of South Korea was unable to be found for more than seven hours on the day of the ship disaster...because she was with a man...a man with whom she was engaged in a "relationship," and a married man at that!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/world/asia/south-korea-journalist-is-charged-over-report-on-rumors-about-president.html?ref=world

Little wonder that the Korean president (a right-winger herself and whose father/role model had first taken power through a coup replete with total press censorship) should be so upset. If proven true, this news would be a political bombshell. Still, the fact that the Koreans are focusing exclusively on a Japanese newspaper while ignoring the homegrown sources seems pretty suspicious to be sure...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is back to military administration. I think this indictmen without arrest is badly hurt South Korea's international reputation.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

law enforcement must be done in a reserved manner in the light of freedom of press, which is vital in a democracy,” Suga said.

Mr Kettle, I have a Mr Pot on the line.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

A Japanese newspaper that cited South Korean sources of rumors including the Chosun Ilbo is the only one that is indicted? Seems strange doesn't it?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

pff.. do not let anyone tell you there is democracy in S. Korea. What you see there are all fake.. I remember S. Korean women were told not wearing short skirt, sleeveless dress in the early 60th. All foreign journalists had to go through strict physical inspections at airport, all nude magazines were stripped for no reason. Kisen House with highly educated women were serving for foreign men. My memory in S. Korea is now all coming back like a bad dream. I think J. Government call here is well justified. This journalist needs to be freed to Japan.

Why S. Korea is a nation of immigration to Japan, Australia, Canada and USA? Sad Country..

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good grief, just deport Kato and shut down the Sankei's Seoul bureau for six months. A trial will just make them country look worse than it already does.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Only "broadly" support the freedom of the press -- not "totally"? Come on America, surely you can do better than that?

No, and they're correct in not doing so. If they did, people like you would ridicule them for saying they totally support Freedom of the Press while still redacting information they deem classified. The press is free to operate - within the limitations of National Security.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

This may be a legitimate indictment we'll have to wait and see the result of the investigation... it's true Sankei is infamously critical of Korean President often using the freedom of speech to attack and defame the President unfairly.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This may be a legitimate indictment we'll have to wait and see the result of the investigation... it's true Sankei is infamously critical of Korean President often using the freedom of speech to attack and defame the President unfairly.

My god. The absurdity.

Criminality on "defamation"? North Korea perhaps but seriously??

Sankei column basically summarizing Chosun Ilbo and yet only the former is under investigation.

Sankei column written in Japanese (web base only) for Japanese readers.

Request to file/investigate on defamation charges initiated by NOT the very individual that was allegedly "defamed" but by a third party. Unheard of.

The stupidity in all of this is that this is EXACTLY what Sankei had hoped for which is an exclusive up close columns detailing the absurd nature of Korea.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Korea seems to be a strange place. There is the North for one, a Gulag, then the south, where old ways still hold sway, yet they are a first world economy.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It doesn't matter how much of a nationalistic dirtbag this reporter is or isn't, freedom of the press should always be protected no matter what.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mr. Kato, your are not in Japan. If Kato is a seasoned journalist, he should've known that criminal indictments for defamation cases have more than doubled in South Korea in the last 5 years. One of the problems with criminalizing defamation is that, even if a person is acquitted, they still have to endure the personal and financial hardships that come with possiblity of lengthy trial and appeals process. This can discourage people from speaking out. Park’s government is showing no signs of easing up on free speech anytime soon.

South Koreans are justifiably proud of their hard won democracy, which came as the result of immense struggle and hardship. However, maintaining democracy requires that governments give space to dissenting voices and opinions and more importantly, provide institutions to safeguard those rights. Park’s government had a chance to reverse South Korea’s troubling downward trend in freedom of expression upon taking office. Unfortunately, by seeking to limit those freedoms, the administration has only accelerated the decline.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

One of the problems with criminalizing defamation is that, even if a person is acquitted, they still have to endure the personal and financial hardships that come with possiblity of lengthy trial and appeals process.

For Kato? No. He's getting paid and then some by Sankei. Seriously, sfjp330. This scenario is more than Sankei would of hoped for, an exclusive in depth coverage of the absuridty of the Korena society. It basically supports what Sankei had been reporting in the past in regards to Korea.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Even high schoolers writing articles on politics on highly credible journalism sites are able to work with Korea's defamation laws. It's pretty pathetic and conceited for Kato to think he can just ignore well heeded local laws. And no one is noticing that this guy is explicitly admitting that he published internet rumors!! LOL.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Even high schoolers writing articles on politics on highly credible journalism sites are able to work with Korea's defamation laws. It's pretty pathetic and conceited for Kato to think he can just ignore well heeded local laws. And no one is noticing that this guy is explicitly admitting that he published internet rumors!! LOL.

Nope. Sankei's article is basically an introductory article to the Chosun Ilbo column itself who also mentioned the 'rumors' surrounding who was involved during that day.

http://www.kcn.ne.jp/~ca001/D139.html

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wonder if SK will just cave in or alienate themselves concerning freedom press?

With Samsung's profit forcast showing a nose dive the SK economy itself is not going to last long and will require external intervention like the IMF crisis of '97 so will they have the luxury of revert back into a hermit nation?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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