Crime & Justice

Japan high court orders damages in high-profile alleged rape case

Tokyo, Jan 25 (EFE).- A Japanese high court Tuesday ordered 3.3 million yen (nearly $29,000) in damages to a female reporter in a high-profile rape case that sparked the #MeToo movement in the country.

The decision withheld a 2019 lower court order that had granted the compensation to Shiori Ito, 32, for the alleged sexual assault by prominent journalist Noriyuki Yamaguchi, 55.

Yamaguchi, a former Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Washington Bureau chief and biographer of ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had challenged the lower court order.

Yamaguchi had maintained that it was a consensual relationship.

Ito had claimed 11 million yen in damages and sued Yamaguchi, alleging that the high-profile journalist had raped her in a hotel room after spiking her drinks to make her unconscious following a dinner in Tokyo.

She said Yamaguchi had promised to help her get a job.

The Tokyo High Court also ordered Ito to pay Yamaguchi 550,000 yen in defamation, saying the woman’s drug claim on that night was “not credible.”

The woman became a symbol of Japan’s #MeToo movement, attracting sympathy as well as criticism.

Ito told reporters that the court ruling that acknowledged no consent meant a lot.

She said five years ago, a court case like hers was a rarity.

“After the #MeToo movement, there was a change,” she said. EFE


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