In a lawsuit in which university professors in the Kansai region complained that LDP member of the House of Representatives Mizuzo Sugita had been slandered by posting and making remarks on the Internet, the Osaka High Court in the second instance ruled that some of the cases constituted defamation and ordered Sugita to pay 2,33 yen in compensation.

Professor Emeritus Kazue Muta of Osaka University, who was conducting research on gender and other issues under a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Japan Scientific Research, and four others filed a lawsuit seeking damages for defamation after LDP member of the House of Representatives Mizuzo Sugita said in an Internet video that they were using the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research after the research period had elapsed.

In May last year, the Kyoto District Court in the first instance rejected the lawsuit, and university professors appealed.

In a two-trial ruling on March 4, Osaka High Court Chief Judge Hibiki Shimizu pointed out that some of his remarks against Professor Emeritus Muta "show that the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research are inappropriately managed and used from the perspective of the general public, and are illegal to lower the professor's social reputation and defame," and ordered Sugita to pay 5,1 yen in compensation.

On the other hand, regarding other posts and remarks by Representative Sugita, the professors rejected the appeals.

After the ruling, the plaintiff, Professor Emeritus Muta, said, "I hope that you will take seriously the fact that you have committed an illegal act that the court recognizes, even though you are in a position of responsibility as a member of the Diet."

Representative Sugita's office: "Some points that were not recognized will be scrutinized in the future"

Commenting on the ruling, Sugita's office commented, "We believe that most of the claims were accepted, and we will examine some of the inadmissibility in the future."