Tokyo (ots-PRNewswire) - The Tokyo District Court today ruled in a
libel case involving reportage of an altercation between Nichiren
Shoshu High Priest Nikken Abe and Seattle prostitutes in 1963. The
judgment in favor of Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai Honorary President
Daisaku Ikeda dismissed all charges against them.
Nichiren Shoshu and Taiseki-ji temple sued for libel in December
1993 over coverage in Soka Gakkai publications of an incident in
which Nichiren Shoshu High Priest Nikken Abe was involved with a
dispute over payment with prostitutes. Damages of 2 billion yen
(US$19 million) had been sought. Chief Judge Fumio Shimoda announced
that all complaints brought by the plaintiffs were dismissed and
ordered Nichiren Shoshu to pay all court costs.
Soka Gakkai's lawyers commented, "We are glad that the factual
nature of our reporting of this incident has been upheld. This
judgment was to be expected."
In June 1992 the Soka Shimpo and Seikyo Shimbun published accounts
by Seattle Soka Gakkai International member Mrs. Hiroe Clow of being
called by local police in the early morning hours of March 20, 1963,
to a downtown site where Mr. Nikken Abe, then Nichiren Shoshu Study
Department Chief, had been involved in an altercation with
prostitutes. Mr. Daisaku Ikeda also referred to Mrs. Clow's
experience in speeches in 1992.
During the lengthy trial, much evidence was submitted in support
of Mrs. Clow's account. She was called as a witness shortly before
her death in 1996, and three former police officers also gave
statements. The judgment comments that their accounts were consistent
and convincing. Despite appearing in court three times himself, High
Priest Nikken Abe was unable to convince the court with his denials.
The judgment states: "After assessing four statements by Mr. Abe we
cannot trust his statements," and concludes that the High Priest did
ask a prostitute if he could take nude photos of her, that he had
sexual intercourse with her and then became involved in an argument
In his summary, Chief Judge Shimoda commented, "according to the
evidence submitted in this case, the above-mentioned articles refer
to facts that are deemed to be in the public interest, and were
written with the sole purpose of serving the public interest, and the
above-mentioned incident caused by Mr. Nikken Abe is recognized to be
true. Therefore reports in the above-mentioned articles etc. do not
contravene the law. No defendant is responsible for any illegal act."
High Priest Nikken Abe stated publicly in August 1994 that if
allegations about this incident were true, he would resign from his
Nichiren Shoshu has announced its intention to appeal today's
ots Original Text Service: Soka Gakkai International
Joan Anderson of Soka Gakkai International
+81-3-5360-9830, or fax, +81-3-5360-9885
Original-Content von: Soka Gakkai International, übermittelt durch news aktuell