TABLOID WRITER OKKOTSU
Kita-Shinjuku Land Allegation
|Weekly tabloid Shukan Shincho publishes two articles alleging that Soka Gakkai sought to profit from land speculation in Kita-Shinjuku, Tokyo. Anti-Soka Gakkai writer Masao Okkotsu was cited in the article as claiming that Soka Gakkai often creates a dummy companies for similar purposes.
|Oct 4, 1999
|Soka Gakkai files a libel suit against Shukan Shincho publisher Shinchosha, its editor, and writer Masao Okkotsu.
|Dec 3, 2001
|The Tokyo District Court rules that Shinchosha, its editor and Okkotsu libeled Soka Gakkai, and orders Shinchosha to publish an apology and pay 4 million yen in damages, of which Okkotsu is responsible for one million.
|Nov 22, 2002
|The Supreme Court dismisses defendants' final appeal and upholds lower courts' decision. Case closes in favor of Soka Gakkai.
|Shukan Shincho (Dec 26 issue) carries an apology from its publisher, Shinchosha.
|Okkotsu speaks at a Buddhist lecture in Wakayama Prefecture alleging that Soka Gakkai had set up two front companies to profiteer from real estate set aside to construct a cemetery. He further alleges that money raised from the scheme was to be used to pay off local officials, politicians and organized crime syndicates.
|Soka Gakkai files libel suit against Masao Okkotsu.
|Sep 18, 2002
|The Tokyo District Court rules Okkotsu libeled Soka Gakkai and orders him to pay 500,000 yen in damages.
|Jan 29, 2003
|Tokyo High Court rejects appeal by Okkotsu. Okkotsu decides not to appeal further. The case closes in favor of Soka Gakkai.
Forum 21 Tax Investigation Allegation
|May 1, 2002
|Forum 21, a magazine published by Okkotsu, carries an article insinuating that Soka Gakkai wielded influence to instigate tax investigation of a Buddhist temple that was indicted for tax evasion two months before.
|Aug 1, 2002
|Soka Gakkai files a libel suit against Okkotsu and his publishing company, Forum.
|May 29, 2003
|The Tokyo High Court rules that Okkotsu and his publishing company are liable for defaming Soka Gakkai and orders him to pay 500,000 yen in damages. Okkotsu files an appeal, which is dismissed by the Supreme Court. The case closes in favor of Soka Gakkai.
Kyushu Leader Allegations
|May 18, 2006
|Okkotsu is quoted in Shukan Shincho article entitled "Rebellion in Kyushu," alleging that the leaders of Soka Gakkai in the Kyushu area had personally profited in connection with a Soka Gakkai cemetery and that "the top leader" of the organization in Kyushu had also created problems through inappropriate relationships with women.
|Jul 18, 2007
|The Fukuoka District Court rules that the Shukan Shincho article "Rebellion in Kyushu" was libelous and based on no factual evidence, ordering Shinchosha and editor Kiyoshi Hayakawa to pay 2,300,000 yen in damages. Okkotsu is ordered to pay jointly and severally 550,000 of the amount. Shinchosha and Hayakawa are instructed to publish an apology in Shukan Shincho.
|Jan 31, 2008
|The Fukuoka High Court upholds this judgment, clarifying that the sole source for the allegations in the article had admitted in writing that what he originally stated was not true.
|Nov 4, 2008
|The Supreme Court of Japan upholds the Fukuoka High Court's ruling, bringing this case to a close.
|Nov 20, 2008
|In its issue of this date, the Shukan Shincho publishes an apology by Takanobu Sato, president of Shinchosha, and Kiyoshi Hayakawa, editor of the magazine, for publishing erroneous allegations and offering "sincere apologies."