Shiori Ito, a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement in Japan, said Thursday her civil court victory in a rape case against a prominent political journalist was "one of the landmark cases for Japanese sex crimes" and that she was still "quite surprised" by the ruling.

Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a journalist said to be close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, denied committing any crime at a separate news conference and repeated his intention to appeal Wednesday's ruling at the Tokyo District Court.

Both the defendant and plaintiff held back-to-back news conferences at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, with Yamaguchi, the former Washington bureau chief for Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc., speaking first. Ito gained entry to Yamaguchi's news conference as a journalist.