The Tokyo District Court recognized Wednesday that a former Asahi Shimbun newspaper reporter was defamed in connection with his 1991 articles on "comfort women," but it rejected his claim for damages against a major publisher and a scholar.

The term comfort women is a euphemism used to refer to women who provided sex, including those who did so against their will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

In a libel suit filed with the Tokyo District Court, Takashi Uemura, 61, demanded that Bungeishunju Ltd., which publishes the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, and Tsutomu Nishioka, a 63-year-old visiting professor at Reitaku University, pay a total of ¥27.5 million in damages and issue apologies.