National

President of Asahi Shimbun reportedly to resign

Kyodo

President Tadakazu Kimura of the Asahi Shimbun, which has been under heavy fire for past reports about the “comfort women” and the Fukushima nuclear crisis, is planning to announce his resignation in mid-November, a source said.

In a document uploaded to an internal website Oct. 31, Kimura made known his plan to resign in November and changes in management to be announced at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders on Dec. 5, the source said Wednesday.

In early August, the Asahi retracted articles from the 1980s and 1990 that reported a Japanese man’s statements that women on a Korean island were forcibly and violently taken to work in wartime Japanese military brothels. The paper said it determined that his statements were false.

In September, it withdrew an exclusive report in May that said most workers left the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the 2011 quake and tsunami, violating the plant chief’s order to stay put.

The Asahi said it could not grasp that the workers just evacuated because the instruction was not communicated thoroughly and thus gave a wrong impression that they fled.

At a news conference on Sept. 11 announcing the retraction of the Fukushima report, Kimura suggested that he would resign, apologizing for “severely undermining the confidence of readers.”

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