Jul 1995 The police completes its investigation of shoplifting charges against Higashi Murayama Councilwoman Akiyo Asaki; forwards case to the prosecutor's office.
Sep 1 1995 Asaki falls to her death. She was due to appear before the public prosecutor's office by Sep. 5 on shoplifting charges.
Sep 1995 Weekly tabloid Shukan Gendai publishes an article claiming that "Akiyo was Killed by Soka Gakkai." Shukan Shincho, another weekly tabloid, reports the same story.
Sep 1995 Asaki's daughter Naoko and her political associate Hozumi Yano, assistant editor and editor-in-chief, respectively, of the Higashi Murayama Shimin Shimbun, publish articles accusing Soka Gakkai of the councilwoman's death.
Oct 6, 1995 Soka Gakkai files a libel suit against the editor of Shukan Gendai, its publisher Kodansha and the Asakis.
Dec 22, 1995 The police conclude Asaki's death is a suicide.
May 20, 1996 Anti-Soka Gakkai tabloid journalist Masao Okkotsu publishes Mysterious Death--The Fatal Fall Incident of Higashi Murayama Councilwoman.
Aug 7, 1996 Akiyo's husband Daito, her daughter Naoko and Councilman Yano, file a libel suit against Soka Gakkai, the owner of the shop, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government [which administered the Tokyo Metropolitan police], among others, based on Soka Gakkai newspaper's report on Asaki's shoplifting and suicide.
Apr 14, 1997 The Tokyo Public Prosecutor's Office announces results of its investigation of Asaki's death. It concludes there is no evidence of crime and that "the probability of suicide is far too high to discount."
Aug 27, 1997 Soka Gakkai files two libel suits, one against Shukan Shincho's publisher (Shinchosha) and then editor (Hiroshi Matsuda), and another against the editors of the Higashi Murayama Shimin Shimbun.
May 15, 2001 The Tokyo High Court rules that the publisher (Kodansha) and editor (Masahiko Motoki) of Shukan Gendai as well as the Asakis libeled Soka Gakkai and orders defendants to pay Soka Gakkai 2 million yen in damages and publish apologies. (Case closed on Oct 29, 2002, when the Supreme Court dismisses defendants' appeal.)
May 18, 2001 The Tokyo District Court rules that publisher (Shinchosha) and editor (Hiroshi Matsuda) of Shukan Shincho defamed Soka Gakkai and orders defendants to pay 2 million yen in damages. Shukan Shincho decides not to appeal. (Case closed.)
Dec 26, 2001 The Tokyo High Court rules that Higashi Murayama Shimin Shimbun editors defamed Soka Gakkai and orders defendants to pay 2 million yen in damages and publish an apology. The editors decide not to appeal. (Case closed.)
May 31, 2002 City councilman Hozumi Yano and Asaki's daughter Naoko publish an apology in the Higashi Murayama Shimin Shimbun as ordered by the court.
Nov 8, 2002 The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal by the Asakis and Councilman Yano in a case brought on August 7, 1996 against Soka Gakkai and others. (Case closed.)
Feb 24, 2003 Kodansha publishes an apology in Shukan Gendai (March 8 issue) as ordered by the court.

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