were six trials related to the Higashi-Murayama Demagogue Incident.
In each case, the court ruled against the weekly tabloids and council
members that claimed Asaki’s death was a “murder.”
In May 2001, the Tokyo District Court ruled against Shukan Shincho
and ordered it to pay damages of 2 million yen. The court ruling clearly
recognized that there was no evidence indicating a direct connection
between Asaki’s death and the Soka Gakkai. (Shinchosha, publisher
of Shukan Shincho, did not appeal the ruling.)
In October 2002, the Supreme Court ruled against Shukan Gendai and
ordered it to publicly apologize in its pages. The court admonished
the magazine, stating the report was so fraught with error that it
was unworthy of publication.
Articles in the Higashi-Murayama Citizen Newspaper, a small-scale
newspaper published by council members Hozumi Yano and Naoko Asaki,
were also condemned by the Tokyo High Court as groundless.
Yano and Asaki filed three lawsuits against the Seikyo Shimbun, the
Soka Gakkai organ paper, which they claimed was overly critical of
their involvement in the incident. Yano and Asaki lost all three lawsuits.
apology that appeared in Shukan Gendai (right)
An apology by Hozumi Yano and Naoko Asaki to the Soka Gakkai, which
appeared in the Higashi-Murayama Citizen Newspaper (left)