Yahoo Japan Corp. issued a rare apology on March 5 for posting The Sankei Shimbun's erroneous articles about a U.S. Marine assisting in a traffic accident in Okinawa, calling them "false news."

One of the two stories, published Dec. 12, 2017, by the Tokyo-based Sankei, criticized two newspapers in Okinawa Prefecture for failing to report the "truth" about the accident. The reported actions of a good Samaritan Marine were later debunked by Okinawa prefectural police, and the Sankei published a front-page retraction and apology.

For one of the two deleted articles, Yahoo wrote its own headline noting that “A Marine rescued a Japanese and was seriously injured. Pray for him,” which it placed at the top page of its news site, according to Yahoo’s public relations office.

Yahoo posted an “Apology and Correction” on its webpage on March 5, noting that it deleted the two related stories that were provided by the Sankei in December.

“We have a responsibility for providing news stories to our users,” Yahoo said. “We take seriously the fact that we delivered false news stories and deeply apologize for it.”

It was an extraordinary admission by Yahoo, a news portal site operator gathering stories mainly from media outlets, that it disseminated false articles on its website. Yahoo assumes no editorial responsibility for the articles it posts.

In December, the Sankei wrote about a Marine who reportedly tried to help a Japanese who was caught up in a six-vehicle traffic accident, but was injured himself. It blasted The Ryukyu Shimpo and The Okinawa Times for failing to report on the actions of the Marine, saying the two papers are “not qualified to call themselves media organizations.”

It also said that the two papers did not report the “truth” about the accident and, “They are shameful as Japanese.”

The Sankei based its reporting on a response from a U.S. Marine official. However, it did not confirm the facts of the accident with the investigating Okinawa prefectural police. On Feb. 8, the Sankei published the front-page retraction and apology.