Japanese court ruled journalists can keep sources secret

On June 14, 2010, the Tokyo High Court ruled that journalists have a right not to disclose the identities of their sources. Presiding Judge Nobuo Akatsuka wrote in the High Court's ruling that allowing reporters to keep sources secret ensured that the government does not interfere with the freedom of the press — a right guaranteed in the Japanese Constitution. The decision reversed an order from the Tokyo District Court on behalf of the US District Court for the District of Arizona which would have compelled a newspaper reporter to testify in an American company's lawsuit against the US government. The case originally dated back to a 1997 article in Tokyo's Yomiuri Shimbun which reported that the Japanese subsidiary of a US health food company had been penalized by the Tokyo Regional Tax Bureau for underreporting profits.


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