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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 14 - 20  > Court rejects investment company’s claim in SLAPP
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2014 May 14 - 20 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Court rejects investment company’s claim in SLAPP

May 20, 2014
Concerning a lawsuit in which an investment fund sued a researcher for libel, the Tokyo District Court ruled on May 19 that the content of the researcher’s article is “true”.

That article, written by Meiji University Professor Nonaka Ikue, appeared in the June 2011 issue of Keizai, a monthly economic journal.

Responding to a labor union’s request, Nonaka investigated how the amount of three billion yen flew from Showa Rubber (the current Showa Holdings) to Asia Partnership Fund (APF), which virtually controlled the rubber manufacturer. In the treatise, Nonaka concluded that the investment company robbed its subsidiary of the property, and consequently affected workers at the maker as well as the regional economy.

In July 2012, APF and Showa Rubber sued Nonaka for defamation, demanding 55 million yen in compensation.

This sort of lawsuit is called SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation), which is intended to restrain reporters or researchers from publishing unfavorable articles for entities such as private businesses.

The district court ruled in favor of the defendant, stating that the main arguments made in the professor’s article are true.

In a gathering held after the ruling, Nonaka expressed her gratitude to her supporters, saying, “I’m happy that the judge acknowledged the factual basis of my paper.”

Past related article:
> Researchers concerned about decline in academic freedom by SLAPP lawsuit [June 14, 2013]
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