Tokyo High Court for a Fair Trial
The “Yoshimi Trial” is a defamation suit launched by Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi of Chuo University against Fumiki Sakurauchi, a former member of the House of Representatives who has publicly claimed that Yoshimi’s published works were “fabrications.” On January 20, 2016, the Tokyo District Court unjustly ruled to dismiss the plaintiff’s case. The District Court’s ruling willfully misinterpreted the word “fabricate”—which normally refers to the invention of false evidence with the intent to mislead or misrepresent—to mean “to be false,” “inappropriate,” or “involving a logical leap.” Based on this rather skewed interpretation, the District Court judged that the comments made by the defendant, Sakurauchi, do not justify the charges.
We received many signatures for the international petition that was circulated in advance of the District Court ruling, and we would like to thank everyone who gave us their support.
Since May 31, 2016, the Yoshimi Trial has been moved to the Tokyo High Court. If we cannot reverse this ruling in the High Court, not only will we not be able to recover Professor Yoshimi’s reputation, but the defendant’s comments will continue to degrade the honor and emotional well-being of the female victims. Therefore, we have decided to create a new international petition to demand a fair trial from the Tokyo High Court. We would greatly appreciate your help in signing it and spreading the word.
＊Please add your signature to the High Court petition, even if you have already signed the District Court petition
First Collection date: June 30, 2016
Send to: 〒186-8601
Or Sign the Petition Online: www.yoisshon.net
Yoshimi Trial, Action Together（YO-ISSHON）
International Petition Demanding a Fair Trial
To: Tokyo High Court 19th Civil Division
We, the citizens of Japan, and citizens of the world, demand that the Court arrive at a fair and just decision on the defamation suit filed by Yoshiaki Yoshimi, professor of history at Chuo University, against Fumiki Sakurauchi, former member of the House of Representatives and Japan Restoration Party (CASE CLAIMING DAMAGES ETC. 2016 (ne) No. 1068).
The plaintiff, Professor Yoshimi, has contributed more than anyone toward uncovering the history of Japanese military “comfort women” through the careful investigation of documents and oral testimonies. He has thus brought rays of hope to the victims and demonstrated Japan’s conscience to the world. However, the defendant, Sakurauchi, made remarks asserting that the plaintiff’s work is a “fabrication” and stated in court that “the part of Yoshimi’s work which claims ‘comfort women’ were sexual slaves is a fabrication.”
Dismissing a researcher’s lifelong work and the conclusions derived from it as a “fabrication” is not only a serious act of defamation, but also an outrageous attack on the societal value of scholarship in general.
Nevertheless, the Tokyo District Court’s ruling on January 20, 2016, willfully misinterpreted the word “fabricate”—which normally refers to the invention of false evidence with the intent to mislead or misrepresent—to mean “to be false,” “inappropriate,” or “involving a logical leap.” Based on this skewed interpretation, they dismissed the charges against the defendant—an extremely arbitrary and unjust ruling.
Citizens the world over were astonished by the ruling of the District Court that acquitted the defendant who described as a “fabrication” the lifework of a world-renowned expert on the issue of “comfort women.” If the High Court decides to maintain this ruling, the credibility of Japan’s judicial system is sure to suffer greatly.
We sincerely demand that the Court arrive at a fair ruling—a judgment that does justice to history and to the world.