Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 December 2018
Although Japanese defamation law has been a subject of legal interest for scholars and judges, their main focus was the defamation rules that appeared in cases publicized by legal reporters. The following study coded 232 defamation cases against the media that were decided in district courts in Japan, according to the type of database that reported the cases. Statistical results reveal that newspapers are more likely to report defamation cases than other databases because stories about defamation cases may satisfy readers' interest or because the newspaper might have been informed by plaintiffs who won their cases. The results also show that the professional status of the plaintiff is a predictor of the case outcome. Politicians and officials are less likely to win in defamation cases than are executives and criminals, and they received lower damages than athletes and entertainers.