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

A Tokyo court ordered damages worth about $30,000 in a ruling that the victim called a milestone in the country.

Shiori Ito held a banner reading “Victory” outside the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday.Credit…Kyodo, via a Reuters

TOKYO — A Tokyo court on Wednesday sided with a woman who accused a prominent television journalist of rape, ordering him to pay her damages worth about $30,000 in a ruling that the victim called a milestone in Japan.

In the closely watched civil case, the Tokyo District Court ordered Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former Washington bureau chief of the Tokyo Broadcasting System and a biographer of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to pay the damages to Shiori Ito, a journalist who has become a feminist icon in Japan for being one of the few women willing to speak out about sexual assault there.

Judge Akihiro Suzuki said in his ruling that he found Ms. Ito “highly trustworthy” and accepted her account of being assaulted in Mr. Yamaguchi’s hotel room after he took her to dinner in Tokyo in 2015 to discuss job prospects.

The judge said Mr. Yamaguchi had committed “an illegal act” by engaging in sexual intercourse with Ms. Ito without her consent while she was inebriated and unconscious, and continuing even after she awoke and refused him.