May 2003 – No. 11
Tokyo High Court Rules Against Journalist Okkotsu for Defaming the Soka Gakkai
The Tokyo High Court ruled on May 29 that freelance writer Masao Okkotsu and his publishing company, Forum 21, were liable for defaming the Soka Gakkai in an article that appeared in the May 1, 2002 issue. The court awarded the Soka Gakkai damages after overturning a lower court decision handed down Dec. 18, 2002.
The article in question covered the case of a Buddhist temple and its indictment two months earlier for tax evasion. However, it also contained numerous comments from unattributed sources insinuating that the Soka Gakkai had wielded influence (through its affiliation with the New Komeito political party, for example) to instigate the investigation.