September 22, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s biggest newspaper, publishes front page apology on bogus iPS cell story; Moriguchi still claims his story is factual

Japan’s biggest daily newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, made international news when it reported a few days ago that iPS cells had been transplanted into human patients by Hisashi Moriguchi.

In this morning’s paper, Yomiuri Shimbun issued a painful front page admission (happily reported by competing paper The Asahi Shimbun) of publishing false information about the alleged transplants, which most folks now believe never took place.

The apology from the paper, with a massive circulation of 10 million, is appropriate, but their earlier reporting on this case was just terrible. Facts were not confirmed. The story was sensationalized on the front page of their paper.

Managing editor of Yomiuri, Yoshimitsu Ohashi, wrote “We must honestly reflect on the shoddy reporting on our part” and an in-house investigation will probe what went wrong.

Remarkably, Moriguchi, who talked to reporters yesterday in New York, still said he did nothing wrong and that the “facts” were correct. Reportedly “He said he would give his side of the story after consulting with those involved in the research.”

 

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