YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The son and daughter of a deceased journalist once convicted in one of Japan’s worst cases of repression of free speech during the war demanded ¥9.8 million in compensation from the state Thursday for the more than two years their father spent behind bars.
Shinichi Ono, 62, and his sister, Nobuko Saito, 59, filed the demand with the Yokohama District Court a month after the same court in a retrial dismissed the criminal case, without rendering a verdict, against Yasuhito Ono. The family had wanted his name cleared.
The pair are demanding the maximum amount of compensation, ¥12,500 a day allowed under the 1950 criminal compensation law, for the 784 days their father spent in detention.
While working as an editor for the magazine Kaizo (Reform), Yasuhito Ono became embroiled in what is known as the “Yokohama Incident” — a series of repressive steps by police against more than 60 people whom they claimed had published procommunist articles in the magazine during the war.
Ono’s family petitioned for a retrial in March 2002 with the district court, which was accepted in October 2008.
On March 30, the Yokohama District Court dismissed the retrial case.
In that decision, the three-judge panel passed no judgment on whether Ono was guilty of promoting communism in violation of a wartime law aimed at cracking down on communists, antiwar activists and insurgent activities.
Ono was among 60 people arrested between 1942 and 1945 on suspicion of violating the Peace Preservation Law.
Ono was arrested in 1943 for allegedly publishing an article promoting communism and was given a suspended two-year prison term in September 1945. He died in January 1959 at the age of 50.
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