January 12, 2004p
Rebuttal to "Sect Influences Government," an article appearing in the November 17, 2003 edition of the German magazine Der Spiegel, that includes allegations of sexual assault against the SGI president, which had been concluded two years before in June 2001 as "an abuse of the right of action" by the Supreme Court of Japan.
I wish to rebut in the strongest possible terms your reporter's casual and irresponsible reference in the article "Sect Influences Government" in your November 17 edition to accusations of "sexual oppression and rape" against Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International lay Buddhist association.
The 1996 claims of rape made against Mr Ikeda by Nobuko Nobuhira were conclusively dismissed by Japan's Supreme Court in June 2001. No factual basis was found, despite extensive investigations.
The May 2000 Tokyo district court judgment on the final case contains the following statement: "The plaintiff's conduct during the course of this trial, including unreasonable changes of claims...are extremely unnatural, not in accordance with those of one who genuinely seeks redress for damages, and are entirely against good faith. Such an attitude is considered to stem from the lack of factual basis of the present suit." The case was decisively dismissed as an abuse of the right of action aimed solely at damaging the public reputation of Mr. Ikeda.
Rape is a grave crime of sexual violence. Allegations of rape create an indelible negative impression and they should never be casually repeated where there is a public record proving them baseless.
Your correspondent made no attempt to check his facts with SGI in Tokyo when writing this damaging story and we insist that in future he contact us if he is writing about us.
SGI-Deutsland (Germany) Women's Leader / Spokesperson
[Note: As it appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the January 12, 2003 issue of Der Spiegel]