A committee for the inquest of prosecution has rejected a journalist’s appeal of a 2016 decision not to indict former television reporter Noriyuki Yamaguchi, whom she accused of raping her.
The decision by the Tokyo Sixth Committee for the Public Inquest of Prosecution, dated Thursday, means the criminal case against Yamaguchi, the former Washington bureau chief for Tokyo Broadcasting System, is completely closed.
Shiori, who is withholding her surname in line with her family’s wishes, filed the appeal in May. She claimed that she was raped by the then-TBS journalist at a Tokyo hotel in April 2015, after meeting him to discuss a job opportunity and losing consciousness at a sushi restaurant.
Based on a criminal complaint filed by Shiori, police investigated the case and, citing incapacitated rape, handed the case to prosecutors that August. But the prosecutors dropped the case in July 2016 because of insufficient evidence, according to Shiori.
The inquest committee concluded that, although it “carefully examined” the appeal, it could not find grounds for reversing the decision made by the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Both Shiori and Yamaguchi released a statement through their lawyers on Friday.
“I wanted the panel to fully explain why the testimony and evidence we collected ourselves this time were judged insufficient to reverse the no-indictment decision,” Shiori said.
Yamaguchi said, “Throughout the whole proceedings, no criminal act was ever judged to have been committed. With the no-indictment decision being finalized, this case has come to a complete end.”
Shiori went public with the case in May by holding a news conference announcing her appeal to the inquest committee.
The case drew wide public attention partly because Yamaguchi was a high-profile journalist known for his close ties with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He has written two books on the inner workings of the Abe administration.
Note: Since the publishing of this story, Shiori Ito has released her full name.