The Shiori Ito case provides a classic instance of the sexual predation and gender injustice that has motivated #MeToo movements around the world. Yet hers was often a lonely fight for justice.
Early in 2015, Ito, a 26-year-old journalist, emailed Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a well-connected veteran television reporter and TBS bureau chief in Washington. They had met briefly in the United States before, and Ito contacted him to follow up on assurances he had made to help her find a job. They met for dinner in Tokyo in April 2015. After drinking with Yamaguchi, Ito suffered a memory blackout; she later suspected that Yamaguchi had spiked her drinks. Police investigators and journalists reconstructed subsequent events from the testimonies of a taxi cab driver and a doorman at the hotel where Yamaguchi was staying, and from the hotel's security camera footage.
This reconstruction established that Yamaguchi had taken an intoxicated, physically ill and semi-conscious Ito by taxi to his hotel, that she had asked to be dropped off at a train station on the way, that she had not wanted to get out when they arrived, and that Yamaguchi had carried her into the hotel. Ito has testified that early the next morning she came to her senses, to find herself, in her words, "lying naked in a hotel bed, face up with Mr. Yamaguchi on top of me" having sexual intercourse with her — which Yamaguchi later insisted was consensual.