Japan's former premier sues PM Abe for defamation

Featured Japan - July 17th, 2013

Naoto Kan, Japan’s premier when the earthquake and tsunami struck the country in 2011, said Tuesday he was suing the current prime minister over remarks critical of his government’s handling of the Fukushima crisis.

In an article dated May 20, 2011 on Shinzo Abe’s website, the prime minister rebuked Kan for taking credit for the decision to cool the melting nuclear reactors with seawater – a lauded move that prevented the crisis from spiraling out of control, reports Reuters.

Kan, now an opposition figure for the Democratic Party of Japan, said Abe had no grounds to accuse him of mismanaging the crisis and called out the article as “false”.

He said he was taking legal action against Abe for defaming his reputation and harming “the credibility of the DPJ and the DPJ government at the time,” Japan Times reports.

He is seeking 11 million yen ($110,100) in compensation and demanded the article be removed as well as an apology that would be posted on Abe’s site for two years.

“The content is based on totally false information. The article has severely damaged my honour,” Kan told a news conference at parliament.

“Abe has ignored my relentless requests to retrieve the posting and apologize,” he said.