The editor in chief of the Shukan Asahi magazine has been suspended over an article published in the weekly without the permission of a couple who have returned to Japan after being abducted by North Korean agents, it was learned Saturday.

The Asahi Shimbun, the major daily which publishes the weekly, said Takeshi Suzuki has been suspended from work for 10 days and that Chiaki Omori, head of the company’s publishing division, will have his pay cut.

Kazuomi Yamaguchi, Suzuki’s deputy, will also be suspended from work for 10 days beginning Feb. 7.

The weekly apologized in its Jan. 31 issue to Yasushi Chimura and his wife, Fukie, who returned from North Korea last year after being abducted in 1978, for running an interview without their consent.

An Asahi Shimbun spokesman said the writer of the article cannot be punished because he is a freelance contributor who works exclusively for the weekly, but that the company will review future work by freelance writers.

The issue featuring the interview with the Chimuras appeared on Jan. 14, but led to a protest from the couple on the grounds that the writer had not told them their conversation would be made into an article.

In its apology, the weekly said the writer had told the Chimuras the interview was meant for “accumulating” data and that the article had breached their trust.

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