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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 18 - 24  > Rape victim wins in court, giving boost to '#Me Too' movement
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2019 December 18 - 24 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Rape victim wins in court, giving boost to '#Me Too' movement

December 19, 2019

The Tokyo District Court on December 18 acknowledged that a female freelance journalist had been raped by a former TBS Washington bureau head, and ordered the ex-TBS chief, the defendant, to pay the plaintiff compensation, which will certainly add momentum to movements to address the issue of sexual assaults in Japan.

The court ruled that the act in question had been performed against the woman's will.

Ito Shiori, the victim, in 2017 sued Yamaguchi Noriyuki, claiming that he raped her and demanded compensation. She then appeared at a press conference under her own name. This led to a Japanese version of the "#Me Too" movement.

The ex-TBS Washington bureau chief was known to be a person close to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Yamaguchi is also the author of the book on the Abe government "Souri".

Ito in April 2015 filed a criminal complaint against Yamaguchi with the Metropolitan Police Department, and an arrest warrant against him was issued. However, the then MPD criminal investigations chief, Nakamura Itaru, reportedly gave orders to cancel the arrest order. Nakamura was also a former political secretary of Suga Yoshihide who is Abe's chief cabinet secretary. The case against Yamaguchi was sent to prosecutors, but the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office in 2016 dropped the case.

After the civil court ruling, Ito at the Judicial Press Club said, "If the Penal Code had a stipulation that 'sex without consent is illegal', it would create a much lower hurdle for indictments. I hope the Penal Code will be revised to include this stipulation."

Past related article:
> Symposium held to talk about 'Me Too' movement [February 25, 2018]
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