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Publisher fined for 'fixed' sumo series

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

2009/3/27

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The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered publisher Kodansha Ltd., one of its weekly magazines and a writer to pay a total of 42.9 million yen in compensation to the Japan Sumo Association and 30 wrestlers for a series of articles alleging bout-rigging.

The amount is believed to be the largest awarded in a libel case involving a magazine article.

Presiding Judge Yasushi Nakamura said the reporting behind the series, which appeared in Shukan Gendai from the Feb. 3, 2007, issue was "slipshod in the extreme."

The ruling awarded yokozuna Asashoryu, who was accused in the series as having "frequently engaged in bout-rigging," 11 million yen, the largest amount among the plaintiffs. The sumo association was awarded 6.6 million yen.(IHT/Asahi: March 27,2009)

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