There 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.

An 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)