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#Metoo in Japan: Journalist Shiori Ito wins case against TV anchor she alleges raped her

Shiori Ito speaks to reporters after winning her case at the Tokyo District Court
Shiori Ito speaks to reporters after winning her case at the Tokyo District Court Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Caroline MortimerAP
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Tokyo District Court has ordered Noriyuki Yamaguchi to pay 3.3m yen (€27,000) in damages to the journalist after he allegedly raped her in in 2015.


A court in Tokyo has awarded 3.3m yen (€27,000) in damages to a journalist who accused a powerful television anchor of rape.

Shiori Ito accused Noriyuki Yamaguchi of raping her in his hotel room in 2015 after she agreed to have dinner with him to discuss a job opportunity.

She says during the meal she became dizzy and passed out in a bathroom then Yamaguchi took her to his hotel room and raped her in April 2015 while she was incapacitated.

Ito said that he continued the assault even when she woke up and told him to stop.

But Yamaguchi, who is said to have close ties to the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, denies the allegations saying they had had consensual sex.

Read more: Japan women see turning point on sexual harassment after scandal

He filed a countersuit this year, demanding she pay 130m (€1.07m) for allegedly damaging his reputation and trust by calling him a rapist in the media but the Tokyo District Court dismissed his case.

Judge Akihiro Suzuki said Ito's attempt to seek the truth in the case and how it was handled, and to promote awareness about social and legal issues surrounding sexual assault victims, is based on her intent to serve public interest and does not constitute defamation against the defendant.

Ito said she visited the women's clinic after the day after the alleged assault to get treated and filed a criminal complaint with the police, though it took weeks to get them to accept it and start investigating.

The prosecutors eventually dropped the case, without explaining to her why.

She held a news conference a month later announcing that she had requested a court-appointed citizens' panel to review the decision to drop the case. The panel in September agreed with the decision not to indict

Ito and her supporters said they hope her victory would be a step toward promoting awareness in a society where sexual victims like her wouldn't have to feel intimidated and isolated.

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