Japanese journalist wins damages in high-profile lawsuit over rape, Latest World News - The New Paper

Japanese journalist wins damages in high-profile lawsuit over rape

This article is more than 12 months old

TOKYO: A Japanese court yesterday ordered a prominent reporter to pay damages to a female journalist in a civil lawsuit over her allegations that he raped her, a verdict welcomed by women's rights advocates in a country where sexual assault victims often stay silent.

The Tokyo court ordered television journalist Noriyuki Yamaguchi to pay 3.3 million yen (S$40,840) in damages to Ms Shiori Ito, a freelance journalist who has become a well-known face of Japan's #MeToo movement.

Ms Ito, 30, had sought 11 million yen in damages for her suffering after prosecutors declined to indict Mr Yamaguchi following her complaint to police that he had raped her while she was unconscious.

The court also ruled against a countersuit by Mr Yamaguchi, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, in which he sought 130 million yen in damages from Ms Ito.

Mr Yamaguchi told a news conference that he would appeal the verdict, saying he had done nothing illegal.

Ms Ito made waves in 2017 when she took the rare step of going public with allegations that Mr Yamaguchi, a senior television reporter known for his reporting on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had raped her in 2015 after she met him for drinks to discuss an offer to help her find a job.

The court said in a summary of the verdict that the credibility of Ms Ito's account, in which she said she was forced to have sex while unconscious and despite resisting after she regained consciousness, was relatively high. - REUTERS