A revised version of a best-selling nonfiction book featuring links of a conservative lobby to a religious group and claims it has influence on the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will now go on sale, its publisher said Wednesday, following a rare court order to suspend publication of the book due to a defamation claim.
Fusosha Publishing Inc. said on its website it has decided to remove the contentious part in the modified version of the book “Nippon Kaigi no Kenkyu” (A Study on the Japan Conference), and sell it, as a “measure for the meantime,” in response to the Tokyo District Court’s decision Friday.
The court had issued an injunction against publication, saying that the book, published last year and written in Japanese by Tamotsu Sugano, contains several lines that are untrue.
Sugano said the release date of the hard copy has not been decided. The online version of the book has already been modified, with the contentious description covered with black circles.
Sugano said following the court order he held discussions with the publisher to make the necessary changes to the contentious part, which constituted two lines in the book.
The court said the book cannot be published unless it removes or blacks out the description, saying the man’s social reputation will worsen to a level that would be difficult to restore if the book continues to be sold as is.
It is rare for a court to suspend publication of a best seller in Japan. The book has sold around 153,000 copies since its release last spring.
The book claims the lobby has influence on the government of Abe and criticizes the administration’s drive toward revising the war-renouncing Constitution.
A man in his 70s who appears in the book filed a lawsuit arguing it damaged his reputation and demanded that Fusosha Publishing suspend sales of the book.