Tokyo High Court has decided to reduce the amount of the compensation against Shukan Bunshun sued By AEON about an injury to a its reputation. Shukan Bunshun ran the story “Chinese toxic rice” before.
AEON Co., Ltd. is the biggest Japanese retail company not only in Japan but in Asia as of 2017. It runs 303 malls and 626 supermarkets all over the world like China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun ran the story about AEON in 2013, and the headline was “Chinese toxic rice -Uncovering the disguise by AEON-“. This radical headline attracted people’s attentions. The article said that Japanese wholesaler Mitaki Shoji imported rice from China, and they sold it as Japanese rice to retailers. The magazine blamed AEON for insufficient checking though AEON just bought the rice from the wholesaler, and also pointed out that 80 percent of products AEON sells are made in China. Shukan Bunshun has always insisted that the foods from China are toxic, dangerous. Finally, AEON charged Shukan Bunshun with slander.
In the first trial in a court, Tokyo High Court ordered Shukan Bunshun to pay about 240,000 dollars against AEON as a compensation of the slander in 2013. But in the second trial held in 2017, Tokyo High Court reduced the amount of the compensation from 240,000 to 11,000 dollars. According to the court, the headline was too much radical, but the content of the article was true. The judge requested both sides to discuss about the security of foods continuously.