Journalist to return to Japan

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Journalist to return to Japan

South Korea has lifted an overseas travel ban on a Japanese journalist charged with defaming the South Korean president.

Tatsuya Kato had been banned from leaving South Korea since last August as prosecutors were investigating his article concerning rumors that President Park Geun-hye was absent for seven hours during last year’s Sewol ferry disaster because she was purportedly with a man.

Kato, the former Seoul bureau chief of the conservative Sankei Shimbun newspaper, was indicted in October.

A Seoul prosecutors’ office said on Tuesday that the Ministry of Justice had accepted its request to lift the travel ban. The decision was made after judges determined that Kato’s report was inaccurate and that he promised to attend trial proceedings in Seoul.

Kato’s indictment also raised questions regarding freedom of the press in South Korea.

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