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A group of opposition lawmakers on Tuesday kicked off the first in a series of hearings where they will question police and ministry officials over a high-profile case involving an alleged rape by a former television journalist with close ties to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The case grabbed nationwide headlines in May when freelance journalist Shiori Ito, who at the time disclosed only her first name, came forward with the claim that she had been sexually assaulted by Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former Washington bureau chief for Tokyo Broadcasting System, at a Tokyo hotel on April 4, 2015.

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