The Fukushima District Court on Tuesday found three ex-soldiers guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague and gave them suspended jail terms, bringing to a close a rare case for a country where victims rarely come forward to speak out against abuse.

The court sentenced Shutaro Shibuya, Akito Sekine and Yusuke Kimezawa to two years in prison, but suspended for four years, for their "forced indecency" on Rina Gonoi during a military drill in 2021.

In a socially conservative country where the #MeToo movement failed to gain much ground, Gonoi, 24, took to YouTube last year to share her account after an internal military probe was dropped for lack of evidence.