Uniqlo sues publisher for damages, retraction of stories

TOKYO —Fast Retailing Co and its operating unit Uniqlo Co sued Bungeishunju Ltd on Friday, demanding 220 million yen in damages for defamation in connection with stories published about the Uniqlo casual clothing chain.

According to the lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court, Bungeishunju published a critical account of the Uniqlo chain by freelance journalist Masuo Yokota in the May 6 and 13, 2010, editions of its Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine and published his book titled ‘‘The Glory and Disgrace of the Uniqlo Empire’’ in March.

Fast Retailing and Uniqlo said the magazine article and book created the impression that the Uniqlo chain has forced employees at its stores and Chinese plants to work for long hours on low pay.
Denying the plaintiffs’ allegation, the publisher said in a statement that the article and book were written based on ‘‘in-depth research.’‘

The plaintiffs said the article and book were based on ‘‘extremely scanty’’ research and were so fallacious that they could cause ‘‘fatal damage to our management.’‘

In addition to damages of 220 million yen, the lawsuit demands that the Tokyo court order Bungeishunju to stop publishing the book and withdraw already published copies, while notifying the public of its denial of the contents of the article and book.

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