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Japanese journalist wins damages over alleged rape

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:48s

Japanese journalist wins damages over alleged rape

Japanese journalist Shiori Ito has won damages from a well-known reporter she accuses of raping her.

It's a high-profile victory for Japan's #MeToo movement, which struggles with a culture of silence over sexual assault.

Lucy Fielder reports

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Japanese journalist wins damages over alleged rape

A Japanese journalist has won the right to damages from a well-known reporter she says raped her.

Shiori Ito has become a face of Japan's struggling #MeToo movement.

Wednesday's verdict cheered women's rights groups in a country where sexual assault victims fear shame and humiliation, and usually stay silent.

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

Ito accuses him of raping her while she was unconscious in 2015.

She made waves by taking the rare step of going public, especially because Yamaguchi is well-known for his reporting on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Ito said after the ruling she was 'so happy' and that she hoped the ruling would encourage other victims to report rape.

But it's not over, she says -- now I must struggle to face my scars.

The court found highly credible her account that Yamaguchi forced her to have sex while she was unconscious, and despite her resisting when she came round.

They'd gone for a drink to discuss how to find a job for Ito, who was freelance.

In her book, she'd suggested he might have given her a 'date-rape' drug but she had no way of knowing.

While the court doubted Yamaguchi's statements, in which he argued the sex was consensual.

He'd separately alleged she drank too much.

On Wednesday, Yamaguchi repeated he'd done nothing illegal, and said he'd appeal the verdict.

Sex-abuse victims say Japanese law puts too high a burden on them.

Rape cases require prosecutors to prove violence or intimidation was involved, or that the victim was incapable of resistance.

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