TV journalist appeals court ruling in Japan #MeToo case


Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former television reporter accused in a high profile rape case by journalist Shiori Ito has filed an appeal on Monday, January 06, to a civil court ruling which ordered him to pay her for damages.

The Tokyo District Court last month ordered Yamaguchi, 53, to pay 3.3 million yen (US$30,500) in damages to the 30-year-old Ito who became the symbol for the #MeToo movement in Japan.

Yamaguchi, a former Washington bureau chief for Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. and biographer of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has denied Ito’s allegation that he had sexual intercourse with her without her consent at a Tokyo hotel in 2015 while she was in a state of intoxication and unconscious.

The court rejected a counter-lawsuit filed by Yamaguchi seeking 130 million yen in compensation from Ito. He claimed his social reputation has been damaged by her remarks.

Yamaguchi was the superior of Ito when the alleged crime happened. She said Yamaguchi used his position over her to pressure her to accompany him to hotels and accept alcoholic drinks as part of the job while covering news stories.

Ito filed a criminal complaint with police, but prosecutors dropped the case in 2016.

She later filed a complaint with the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution, but it also judged in 2017 that the prosecutors’ decision was appropriate. (Source: Mainichi Japan)