• Reuters, Kyodo

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The Seoul Central District Court cleared a Japanese journalist on Thursday of defaming the South Korean president in a case that raised new questions about media freedom and had threatened to inflame relations between the uneasy neighbors.

Tatsuya Kato, former Seoul bureau chief of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper, was indicted in October last year when prosecutors said a report he wrote in August over President Park Geun-hye’s whereabouts during a ferry disaster was based on false information, had no foundation and damaged her honor.

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