Justice Minister Seiken Sugiura said Tuesday he will not issue a warning to the media for releasing the name and photograph of a 19-year-old suspected of killing a 20-year-old female student, saying they had not infringed on his rights.
“The situation does not warrant any advisory action,” Sugiura told a news conference.
The 19-year-old student was wanted for murder but was found dead earlier this month.
Sugiura said he regretted the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho’s decision to identify the youth by name and publish his photograph. The weekly’s Sept. 14 edition hit newsstands Sept. 7, the day his body was found.
The Yomiuri Shimbun also identified the suspect by name and carried his photo in its Sept. 8 morning and evening editions. Two major broadcasters, TV Asahi and Nippon Television, broadcast his picture on the day his body was found.
Sugiura said the Justice Ministry concluded that the media reports did not constitute an infringement of the youth’s human rights.
The Juvenile Law bars media from publishing photos or giving the name, age, profession, residence or physical descriptions of juvenile suspects.
The minister urged the media to be cautious, saying the law does not make exceptions when the suspect has died.
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