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Top court upholds damages ruling in Japan's #MeToo symbol's rape case

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Weird ruling. The rapist has to pay his victim 3.3 million yen, but she has to pay him 550,000 yen for defamation? For writing in her book that he did it? What perverted type of justice is that? Oh, yeah, I forgot, it's Japan.

1 ( +23 / -22 )

“Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a 56-year-old former Washington bureau chief for Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc, had sexual intercourse with her without her consent in 2015.”

It should read “had raped her in 2015.”

14 ( +15 / -1 )

@TrevorPeace

Weird ruling. The rapist has to pay his victim 3.3 million yen, but she has to pay him 550,000 yen for defamation? For writing in her book that he did it? What perverted type of justice is that? Oh, yeah, I forgot, it's Japan.

Rape and defamation are two different things. Just like Johnny Depp won his suit but still had to pay $2M in damages to Amber Heard. She said things about his character that was found to be untrue. She also received compensation for damages from others that worked with him for defamation as well for their social media onslaught of her character that proved to be untrue. The court did everything correctly. They saw everything in the eyes of law and that was all.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

So...he's guilty of rape. But, she's guilty of defaming him because she wrote about him raping her?

Between this and all the other judicial rulings and govt nonsense lately, I think the acronym TIJ should be changed to WTF from now on.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So...he's guilty of rape. But, she's guilty of defaming him because she wrote about him raping her?

Between this and all the other judicial rulings and govt nonsense lately, I think the acronym TIJ should be changed to WTF from now on.

I believe it's down to the article concerning defamation in Japan, which is kind of weird (at least in my opinion).

Chapter XXXIV. Crimes against Reputation

Article 230. (Defamation)

(1) A person who defames another by alleging facts in public shall, regardless of whether such facts are true or false, be punished by imprisonment with or without work for not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.

(2) A person who defames a dead person shall not be punished unless such defamation is based on a falsehood.

At least to me, it seems kind of backwards that you can be punished for speaking the truth unless the person in question has died. There are some special provisions concerning this article, but I'm no expert on Japanese law and therefore have no idea why they don't apply in this case.

Article 230-2. (Special Provision for Matters Concerning Public Interest)

(1) When an act proscribed under paragraph 1 of the preceding Article is found to relate to matters of public interest and to have been conducted solely for the benefit of the public, the truth or falsity of the alleged facts shall be examined, and punishment shall not be imposed if they are proven to be true.

(2) In application of the preceding paragraph, matters concerning the criminal act of a person who has not been prosecuted shall be deemed to be matters of public interest.

(3) When the act proscribed under paragraph 1 of the preceding Article is made with regard to matters concerning a public officer or a candidate for election, punishment shall not be imposed if an inquiry into the truth or falsity of the alleged facts is made and they are proven to be true

But maybe someone else can give us an explanation. I still think it's silly that she has to pay a fine for speaking the truth. He was very well aware of what he was doing, so it wasn't just some kind of accident.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Look folks this has been pointed out in many articles here and one quite recently.

Japan's defamation and libel laws are not what most from western countries expect.

Simply put even if the truth, exposing someone having an affair, making a probable allegation can get you sued and you will probably lose if your accusation cause the person to lose money, job relationship, etc..

The defamation and libel laws in Japan are written to protect powerful people.

Like I pointed out the other day, the new anti bullying law for social media has been written in a similar fashion and defamation laws and I suspect powerful people like politicians will be the first to use it to silence critics.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

its very clear in the article that the defamation is about the claim that she was "drugged" by this man prior to the rape happening.

The high court said her claim in a book that he might have drugged her was not credible.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Blacklabel has it right. Shiori was simply found to have failed the truth test. However...

@AntiquesavingToday 10:21 am JST

Ironically, you just wrote the policy reason why there's a Public Interest test as well as a Truth test.

Maybe it's true that someone has an affair. That doesn't affect his ability to do his job, but people have such an ick against affairs that they'd disqualify him prejudicially. Further, the main motive of the person writing may well not be to "Get the Truth Out" but to smear the man, to take revenge.

That's why there's a public interest test, in addition to the truth test.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Above point taken - but having an affair is not a criminal offense.

Unlawful intercourse - rape - is.

So the squirrily one is - talking about an unlawful act being perpetrated shouldn't attract defamation claims.

Can Abe's killer claim defamation of character?

No. He committed an unlawful act.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@browny1Today 12:33 pm JST

I was explaining the reasoning behind the addition of the public interest test. In Shiori's case, she fell at the Truth test - just like in the vaunted West.

The court had no problem accepting that Yamaguchi committed a tort. However, even then, it's necessary to state the tort accurately. There is a significant difference between Shiori having sex w/o consent but Yamaguchi didn't do anything, and Yamaguchi drugging her drink before the sex w/o consent. If the latter isn't true or substantiated, it's not justified to add it, regardless of public interest.

You might be speaking truth about someone being a burglar, but you don't get to add "said someone pointed a gun at the family" if it isn't true, because while both are crimes, there's a significant difference between the two.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It seems to me no matter how the court ruled in this convoluted case, people complain about it. Too much dogmatic opinion involved.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

Today 12:05 pm JST

Blacklabel has it right. Shiori was simply found to have failed the truth test. However...

> @AntiquesavingToday 10:21 am JST

> Ironically, you just wrote the policy reason why there's a Public Interest test as well as a Truth test.

> Maybe it's true that someone has an affair. That doesn't affect his ability to do his job, but people have such an ick against affairs that they'd disqualify him prejudicially. Further, the main motive of the person writing may well not be to "Get the Truth Out" but to smear the man, to take revenge.

> That's why there's a public

Strange way of trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

I know a woman, she was having an affair with a married man, finally his wife found out they got divorced and he married this woman.

Now several years later she is all shocked and surprised to find out he has been cheating on her.

My wife and I said to her "why are you surprised, he was cheating on his first wife with you, that should have given you a hint to his character and trustworthiness"

So a politician that sits there smiles and tell people how he is this and that, fakes being honest with his family, etc... Is that a person you want to trust?

So if they don't want to be exposed then they have a few choices.

Don't do something wrong like have an affair.

Don't become a public figure.

Accept the fact if you are going to be a public figure everything you do can become public.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

While I do understand the judge's ruling, at the same time it discourages women from coming forward and speaking out against their rapists and abusers. It may even make them hesitant to press charges. They might be afraid that just publicly speaking about what happened to them may give their abuser/rapist justification to sue them. This effectively discourages people from coming forward.

It is a sad day when speaking truth to power results in power winning.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

she had the right to speak truthfully. without adding on the "he drugged me" part to try to disguise that she seemingly went to his room willingly.

which I guess she thought made her look bad, and less likely to win the case. so she lied. at least thats what the court says.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

BlacklabelToday  02:27 pm BlacklabelToday  02:27 pm JST

she had the right to speak truthfully. without adding on the "he drugged me" part to try to disguise that she seemingly went to his room willingly. 

which I guess she thought made her look bad, and less likely to win the case. so she lied. at least thats what the court saysJST

she had the right to speak truthfully. without adding on the "he drugged me" part to try to disguise that she seemingly went to his room willingly. 

which I guess she thought made her look bad, and less likely to win the case. so she lied. at least thats what the court says

It was proven in court that she did not go willingly to his hotel. A taxi driver gave evidence that she asked several times to go home, and that Ito had to drag her out of the car, and prop her up because she couldn’t walk by herself.

It’s in no way reasonable or logical to say she went through a very public court case in order to hide something - that’s nonsensical.

And if you read this article more closely, you’ll see that the court didn’t rule that she lied about willingly going to Yamaguchi’s room, but that she couldn’t positively state that Yamaguchi had drugged her, as that was never proven.

That’s why the judge ruled partly in favor of Yanaguchi but not for the entire amount - for that particular statement, but not on the statement that Yamaguchi had raped her.

In other words, the judge recognized Yamaguchi had raped Ito and that she was free to discuss that - but she was not free to speculate that Yamaguchi had drugged her.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wasn't he one of Abe's friends?

Thought so.

No wonder he got off initially.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In other words, the judge recognized Yamaguchi had raped Ito and that she was free to discuss that - but she was not free to speculate that Yamaguchi had drugged her.

ok that makes more sense than originally thought.

"drugged" sounds better than "drunk".

Its really none of our business which one it was, either way she didnt deserve what the court determined this guy did to her. Hope this is the end of this after 7 years and that she can move on with whatever it is that she needs to do next.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A very brave woman.

My thoughts are with her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kazuaki - thanks for your reply.

But you lost me after * ......*.sex w/o consent but Yamaguchi didn't do anything,

and then further on about burglars etc.

Point is she was raped.

That the level of her disorientation and intoxication suggested that she may have been drugged - not an uncommon practice by preying perpetrators i- is not a wild card.

Witnesses & videos attested to her level of non compos mentis.

Of course proving such was never possible, esp with Tokyos finest at the helm of investigation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How much do the Lawyers get paid ? And who pays them ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@browny1

If that's the inference you got, that's fine. Shiori should have stuck to the facts. If readers infer from the facts she was drugged, fine. But she shouldn't just tell them unsubstantiated facts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You might want to consider how you would feel if you are the victim of defamation, and granting you have to eat What Is True, being forced to eat "freebies" as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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