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text - text Assemblywoman Death Shrouded in Mystery

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- City Politician Apparently Leaps to Her Death

- Politician’s Kin Target Soka Gakkai

- Soka Gakkai Files Complaint Against Weekly

- Q & A With President Akiya

- Police: Assemblywoman Committed Suicide

- Disbandment Request Filed Against Soka Gakkai

- Soka Gakkai Slag Far From the Truth

- Kodansha Loses Soka Gakkai Suit

Courts Rule Against Weeklies, Asaki Families in Higashi Murayama Libel Suits

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- Shukan Gendai Apologizes to Soka Gakkai

Soka Gakkai Wins the Case Completely

- Tokyo District Court Gives a Crushing Blow
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Seikyo Shimbun
Sept. 21, 1995

“Q & A with President Akiya” - No.13

Question:
Regarding the fatal fall of Higashi Murayama City councilwoman Asaki, the Soka Gakkai recently sued the editor of Shukan Gendai (which published a vicious article on the case), and the husband and daughter of the councilwoman Asaki, for defamation. What is the background?

President Akiya:
Shukan Gendai carried an outrageous article in its September 23rd (1995) issue regarding the fatal fall of the councilwoman, libelously implicating that the Soka Gakkai killed her, with a headline “Stunning revelation by husband and daughter! ‘Akiyo was killed by the Soka Gakkai.’ “

According to the police investigation, there is no trace of external injury from violence on the body of the councilwoman. Further investigation and a legally-ordered autopsy shows a quite high probability of suicide by jumping. Needless to say, this case has nothing to do with the Soka Gakkai.

Nonetheless, the eldest daughter of Asaki, gave slanderous comments to Shukan Gendai, saying “the Soka Gakkai is another Aum,” and “Its skilled killing was camouflaged to make it look like the victim committed suicide. This time I clearly understood the tactic of Soka Gakkai.” Akiyo’s husband said “Her arrest on suspicion of shoplifting was framed by Soka Gakkai. The Soka Gakkai set up a scenario in which she was so depressed by the shoplifting charge that in the end she was forced to kill herself.”

The shoplifting case referred to by Asaki’s husband is one that was sent to the public prosecutor’s office by the police department in July 1995. In the case, Asaki was charged with stealing T-shirts from a local apparel store.

The owner of the store personally witnessed Asaki taking the shirts. The Police Department was confident of her guilt. The shop owner testified, “I am certain that was Mrs. Asaki. Because last year we could not catch her in that very act, we didn’t file a report. However, we’ve been watchful since then.”

The Deputy Chief of the Higashi Murayama Police Office said “The shoplifting was witnessed by several people. Also, we strongly suspect that, with help by a friend in the city council, she fabricated an alibi and behaved quite deceitfully. Although she claims that the charges are false, we, the Police Department, have conducted the investigation rightfully and properly and are confident in sending the case to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

Nonetheless, the husband and daughter of the late Asaki alleged that the shoplifting and her fatal fall were “a conspiracy by the Soka Gakkai,” and that “the Soka Gakkai is conspiring with the Police Office.” How can they claim so on what factual basis? Where do they draw this conclusion from? It is truly annoying that they paint the Soka Gakkai “a killer” based on a scenario which is a groundless nonsense.

What is even more impermissible is the attitude of Shukan Gendai which carried those fabricated slanders in their articles as is. Regarding our libel suit, Masahiko Motoki, the editor in chief, said, “Our article is based on interviews with the family and others involved, and we are confident of its content.” Again, who are the “others involved?” Did any of the investigators testify so?

Taking up comments like “the Soka Gakkai is conspiring with the Police Office,” they frame a story which sounds as if the police investigation itself is doubtful. Isn’t the way they work exactly in parallel with that of Aum?

Furthermore, he takes an aggressive stance in the September 30 issue, saying “Soka Gakkai’s libel suit is nothing but a violation of freedom of the press.” It is appalling to hear such comments. He deserves to be sued for the fabricated articles.

There is no way that such false journalism full of speculation and prejudice without any factual endorsements would be tolerated. There is no doubt they will bring another shame on themselves.

In any case, there is a group of people who scheme this folly behind the scene in a plot to attack the Soka Gakkai, taking advantage of the shoplifting and the fatal fall case.

This endless “offstage conspiracy” has already been exposed. Only a handful of conscienceless journalists continue to be maneuvered in it. In that respect, this is an incident which reveals their senselessness.


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