A woman whose husband and daughter were found shot dead in California in May 1996 has dropped a libel suit she filed against Kyodo News and 31 of its member newspapers.
The plaintiff, Shizue Saito, filed the suit with the Tokyo District Court in October 1997, seeking 67 million yen in damages over reports that she said were false and damaged her reputation.
Saito also filed similar damages suits against nine other media organizations — the Mainichi Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc., Nippon Television Network Corp., Fuji Television Network Inc. and Asahi National Broadcasting Co., and two publishers, Bungei Shunju Ltd. and Shinchosha Co., as well as the Associated Press.
She has already withdrawn the suit against TBS and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and is likely to do the same for the remaining defendants.
The sources quoted the woman as saying, “I filed the lawsuit only to raise awareness among media and judicial circles. I had planned to withdraw the suit three years after its start, regardless of . . . victory or defeat.”
At the time she filed the suit, she alleged that Kyodo News, the television networks and the other defendants ran false reports, some of which said the couple had been divorced at the time of the murder and others saying the Saitos had differences over financial matters.
Such reports created the impression she may have had something to do with her husband’s murder and violated her privacy by disclosing her home town and details of her property.