OSAKA, Japan, March 28 (UPI) -- A Japanese court Friday rejected a defamation suit against Nobel laureate novelist Kenzaburo Oe and a publisher relating to writings on World War II.
The two plaintiffs, whose lawsuit asked for nearly $201,000 in damages, alleged the publications had wrongly stated Japanese military officers ordered civilians in Okinawa to commit mass suicide in March 1945 as the war was ending, Mainichi Daily News reported.
The lawsuit filed in Osaka by Yutaka Umezawa, 91, a former military commander in Okinawa, and the 75-year-old brother of another military commander, sought a ban on books published by Iwanami Shoten Publishing. Specifically, the petition was against statements in Oe's "Okinawa Notes," and "Taiheiyo Senso" (Pacific War) by the late Saburo Ienaga, both published by Iwanami, the report said.
In rejecting the suit, Judge Toshimasa Fukami declined to rule on whether the commanders did actually order civilians to commit suicide but noted conditions from that time showed "the former imperial Japanese army was deeply involved in the mass suicides."
The plaintiffs said the writings made them look like inhuman beings, Kyodo news service reported.