Thursday, January 22, 2015

South Korean Japanese justice

South Korean Japanese justice

Mr. Tatsuya Kato, a Japanese journalist who works for the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, was ordered by South Korean authorities not to leave South Korea.  Mr. Kato is charged with defaming South Korea’s President Park Geun-hey.  Resulting in being charged with criminal defamation.

Mr. Kato’s offense was he re-reported an article that appeared in the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.  The article made reference to President Park Geun-hey being with a male admirer at the time the Sewol ferry sank killing more than 300 passengers, most were school children. 

Freedom of the press?  How come the original source for the article the Chosun Ilbo was not charged?  Article 21 of the South Korean Constitution reads:

(1)    “All citizens shall enjoy freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of assembly and association.”

Seems like South Korea does enjoy freedom of the press according to their Constitution.  No so fat, there is a qualifier, and that qualifier is the part the reads “All citizens.”  Mr. Kato is not a South Korean citizen as he is a Japanese citizen.  Reading Article 21, clause 1, of the South Korean Constitution it is easy to read where freedom of the press is only to be enjoyed by South Korean citizens. 

Further on in Article 21, clause 4 it reads:

(4) “Neither speech nor the press shall violate the honor or rights of other persons nor undermine public morals or social ethics.  Should speech or the press violate the honor or rights of other persons, claims may be made for the damage resulting there from.”

Here it basically reads anyone one who insults the honor of a person, charges can result.  It seems with this clause the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo would face the same charges as Tatsuya Kato.  Are there two forms of justice in South Korea?  Are foreign journalists at risk in South Korea?

Related articles:

South Korean Constitution, please read Article 21 (pdf file):

Dr. Robert J. Shapiro discussing this issue in the below video link:

Link to Texas Daddy store:

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