Japan troll fined $15,800 in Hana Kimura suicide case

Hana Kimura was targeted by a torrent of abuse online. PHOTO: HANADAYO0903/INSTAGRAM

TOKYO (AFP) - A man who tweeted insults at a Japanese reality TV star after her suicide was fined 1.29 million yen (S$15,800) on Wednesday (May 19) after his comments had sparked concern over cyber bullying.

The civil lawsuit for defamation was filed by the mother of Hana Kimura, a cast member of the Netflix show Terrace House, who took her life a year ago at age 22.

A lawyer representing the mother told AFP that the court had ordered the man - whose name has not been publicly revealed - to pay the sum of money.

"I am truly grateful that the court recognised it was an act of serious slander," Ms Kyoko Kimura told reporters after the proceedings, which the man did not attend.

"What I truly had in my mind was that I wanted the individual to face what he had done. There was absolutely no display of that. And that was unfortunate."

Japanese media said he had tweeted in Hana Kimura's account shortly after her death: "Everyone is happy thanks to your death. Thank you."

"The show got cancelled because of your suicide. Who do you think you are, causing trouble until the end? Go to hell," he wrote.

The pink-haired professional wrestler was a fan favourite on the internationally popular show in which six young people share a home while looking for love.

But she was targeted by a torrent of abuse online.

The show was cancelled after her death, which also prompted Japanese ministers and lawmakers to move to tackle cyber bullying.

In March, a different man was fined 9,000 yen over online abuse directed at Hana Kimura, without the case going to trial.

He had sent messages saying: "You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?" and "Hey, hey. When will you die?".

A third man has also reportedly been fined over her cyber bullying.

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