Woman Wins High-Profile #MeToo Case in Japan Against TV Journalist

Freelance journalist Shiori Ito talks to her supporters outside a courthouse Wednesday

The Tokyo court ordered senior television journalist Noriyuki Yamaguchi to pay Ito 3.3 million yen - that's 33 thousand dollars.

The 30-year-old made headlines at home and overseas in 2017 when she took the rare step of going public with allegations that Yamaguchi had raped her in a country where the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse has struggled to take hold.

Ito accused Yamaguchi of raping her after inviting her to discuss career opportunities in 2015, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

'When I regained consciousness, in intense pain, I was in a hotel room and he was on top of me.

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence for a criminal case, so Ms Ito brought a civil case.

Ito, 30, has change into an outspoken image for #MeToo in Japan, the do the chase against sexual harassment and abuse has been gradual to purchase spend.

The ruling said Ito's action in making the incident public "was aimed at serving the public interest, as it was an act pursuing improvement in the situation surrounding sex crime victims".

Ito held back his tears as he spoke through a megaphone to journalists and supporters after the verdict outside the court, saying he felt "full of gratitude".

It also said there were grave doubts about the credibility of Yamaguchi's statements, in which he said the sex was consensual.

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.

Legislators revised Japan's century-old rape law in 2017 to include harsher penalties, including raising the minimum punishment for rapists to five years in jail from three.

'Truly I composed don't know how I believe, ' she stated.

Forward of the ruling, Ito went earlier than the cameras and mentioned she had acquired widespread assist.

In awarding the damages, the court said Ms Ito still suffered flashbacks and panic attacks as a result.

Ito released a book about her ordeal in 2017, the year she broke her silence.

Ladies's rights activist Minori Kitahara stated she became hopeful the verdict signalled attitudes were altering in Japan. "But what grabbed me the most was these very polite emails from women telling me how ashamed I should be for revealing everything", she said.

He claimed the court had failed to acknowledge inconsistencies and "falsehoods" in Ito's argument whereas ignoring his hang arguments.

Demonstrators, numbering about 150, gather to protest the lack of substantial legal protection for sexual assault victims in Tokyo last June.

"I hope we can change the social environment that tends to isolate and intimidate sexual assault victims and survivors", Ito said after the ruling.

With victory in hand on Wednesday, Ito thanked those who had stood by her.

The police, who took weeks to open a criminal investigation, told Ito they were going to arrest Yamaguchi, she said, and then backed off.



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