An advertisement for the September 1st issue of Shukan Shincho magazine, which was carried in the Asahi Newspaper on August 25, 1994. (left)
Mamoru Kadowaki of Shukan Shincho (right)

The outline of the article was determined from the outset
The most damaging part of the Shukan Shincho article was its title: “Driver Kills Priest on Impact.” It implied that Shirayama intentionally killed Ohashi.

Reporter Mamoru Kadowaki, who was in charge of the article, insisted the headline was a passive expression.” However, the court ruled it gave the impression that Shirayama intended to murder the priest.

It also became apparent in court that Kadowaki had drafted the title of the article before interviewing Shirayama and that the interview was conducted to support his preconceived premise.

During interviews, Shukan Shincho reporters including Kadowaki, completely ignored facts that failed to support their allegations. They even went so far as to fabricate Shirayama’s comments.

Since the title also appeared in advertisements for the magazine, the Supreme Court ruling recognized that “an advertisement is also an act of libel.”