The daughter of Diet lawmaker Makiko Tanaka has sought a court order forcing a publisher to pay fines of 30 million yen for every day that a weekly magazine featuring an article about her private life remains on store shelves, it was learned Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Tokyo District Court issued a temporary injunction banning Bungei Shunju Ltd. from selling its popular Shukan Bunshun.
The request for indirect enforcement of the injunction order was made at the same court, according to sources.
The magazine issue features an article focusing on the divorce of Tanaka’s eldest daughter. Judge Tomonao Onizawa determined the article violates the woman’s privacy.
But the publisher had already shipped most of its 770,000 magazine copies to retailers by the time the order was issued. While railway station kiosks pulled the magazine from their shelves Wednesday, most of the shipped copies are believed to have been sold.
According to the sources, the latest action sought by Tanaka’s daughter calls for Bungei Shunju to pay roughly 30 million yen for every day that copies remain on sale.
The publisher meanwhile argued that it has no obligation to pay the fine as it has obeyed the court injunction by suspending shipments of some 30,000 copies that had not been delivered to retailers when it received the court order.
“We have followed the order by suspending the shipment,” Bungei Shunju said.
The request on the fine issue will be examined separately from the dispute over the validity of the temporary injunction. Late Thursday afternoon, the district court held a second hearing on the objection filed by Bungei Shunju over the Tuesday injunction.
The court will give its decision Friday afternoon, according to sources.
At the second hearing, the court heard more from the publisher and the lawyer representing Tanaka’s daughter on the article in question.
In the objection, Bungei Shunju said the court injunction restricts freedom of the press, adding that it had given sufficient consideration toward the privacy of Tanaka’s daughter in its article.
Either side may appeal to the Tokyo High Court within two weeks of the district court’s decision.
Tanaka herself refused comment on the matter when confronted by reporters at the Diet building Thursday.