Japan's Secret Shame (2018) Movie Script

This programme contains scenes
which some viewers may find
upsetting and contains some strong
I met him in a bar.
I remember googling him afterwards,
and I saw him talking with Prime
Ministers, so that surprised me.
I remember Mr Yamaguchi saying, "We
are always looking for interns."
If I accuse someone like that, maybe
I won't be able to work again.
This is my first time, that I go to
court for my case.
I'm a little bit nervous.
If the guy decided to come,
he would be there,
and this would be my first time to
face this person
after these two years.
In 2015, 25-year-old Shiori Ito
filed rape charges
against 48-year-old Noriyuki
Yamaguchi, a prominent journalist
in Japan.
Today, more than two years later,
she is preparing for her first
day in court.
In Japan, people rarely come forward
with allegations of sexual assault.
Shiori is part of a tiny minority
who take their cases to court.
In May 2017, Shiori shocked
Japan when she went public
with rape allegations.
It polarised public opinion, and
many just didn't believe her.
But for others, she has
become a heroine.
Japan is a very sexual society.
You can go buy a sports newspaper
at any kiosk,
and it will list where are the best
places to get a blow job,
or who is doing the best
sexual massage.
Any sexual service that you possibly
want, you can buy in Japan.
But to talk about date rape,
or sexual assault,
it is not something that is even on
talk show fodder.
You don't see open
discussions about that.
Rape is alleged in the UK 50 times
more often than in Japan.
Some claim this shows how safe the
country is for women.
But campaigners say it's because
women are simply too scared
to come forward.
Despite being one of the most
advanced nations in the world,
Japan's rape laws date back to 1907,
and didn't change
for more than a century.
Until last year, the crime of
rape in Japan
had a shorter minimum
sentence than theft.
Shiori met Noriyuki Yamaguchi while
she was studying journalism
in New York in 2013.
I think it was autumn.
The second year of my college.
I was supporting myself working
at a bar.
He was with, I think, four or five
different people, drinking.
It was quite shocking to meet
someone very high profile,
and who has achieved what I
want to do.
So I had so much respect.
Mr Yamaguchi was
Washington bureau chief
for a Japanese broadcaster
at the time.
He said, get in touch with me if you
ever need something.
Motoko Rich investigated Shiori's
allegations for over six months.
He's incredibly well-known in Japan.
Both because he was the Washington
bureau chief
at a TV network that's one of a
handful of TV networks
where people get their news.
On top of that, he was a biographer
of Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister.
He was known to be relatively close
to Mr Abe,
that he had spent a lot of time with
him, had golfed with him.
The biography was very positive.
So, I think, a lot of
the allegations
that there had been some political
interference come from the closeness
of that relationship.
After they met, Shiori e-mailed
Mr Yamaguchi about possible work
several times.
In March 2015, she contacted him
from Tokyo to see if there were any
opportunities in Washington.
I e-mailed him saying, do you have
any opening for interns?
And he said, "Of course.
"If it's interns, we're always
looking for someone.
"But we also have a job opening
for producer.
"Are you interested?"
I was like, I was so excited
because, of course!
That's amazing.
Mr Yamaguchi told Shiori they would
need to arrange a US work visa.
He suggested a meeting when he was
in Tokyo the following month.
It was Friday night, so it was quite
packed, I remember.
He was already eating and drinking
at this small Kushiyaki place.
But he told me, this is not the
place we were planning to eat.
Can you just, yeah, stay with me for
a couple of drinks
and then we can go on.
And then we moved on to the
next sushi restaurant.
He started pointing out all the
places he knows.
"Oh, I've been there with, blah,
blah, blah.
"Oh, I went... been there with
blah, blah, blah."
OK, that's the ex-prime minister, or
a very famous politician.
So I was like,
"That's cool, that's great."
We arrived to a sushi place and we
started ordering small sake.
I was sort of feeling a bit...
Uneasy. Started questioning, why
am I here?
I thought we were going to discuss
about a working visa.
That topic didn't come up.
We had this small bottle, and I
remember he was ordering
the side one, so it's very small.
And then all of a sudden I started
feeling very dizzy.
And I decided to go to the bathroom.
And then remember...
The last thing I remember was to
rest my head on the water tank,
and that was all I remember
that night.
Mr Yamaguchi maintains that
Shiori was conscious
and gave full consent to everything
that followed. But in fact,
there is no mention of consent in
Japan's century old rape laws.
In this country, there's a different
definition of what actually is rape.
There still is this sense that it is
not criminal, unless it's a stranger
attacking you and you fight back and
you are hurt.
And if it happens between two people
who know each other,
it can't possibly be rape.
And if there's drink involved,
that's really not rape either.
According to Japanese statutes, to
prove rape it is necessary to show
the use of force or intimidation.
Research has shown that many victims
simply freeze
when they are attacked.
Mr Yamaguchi has denied all
allegations of sexual misconduct.
He has only given one public
interview about the incident,
on a political chat show hosted
by Kazuyoshi Hanada.
Shiori was helped out of the toilet
by restaurant staff.
She and Mr Yamaguchi left in
a taxi together.
What we now know from the testimony
of the taxi driver,
she repeatedly asked him to take her
to a train station,
because she wanted to get on a train
to go home.
Mr Yamaguchi said, "Well, I don't
think you can go by yourself.
"I have a hotel room. We still have
something to talk about work."
And he directed the taxi driver to
drive to his hotel.
The taxi driver said that he heard
Shiori go silent
in the back-seat of car.
CCTV from the hotel shows
Mr Yamaguchi getting Shiori
out of the taxi and propping her up,
as they walked to the lifts.
Shiori has not been back to the
hotel for over two years.
She is returning to see if she can
piece together more
about what happened that night.
I think I just wanted to face it.
I don't know, face what? But...
And I can already feel that my body
is reacting.
It's the light I remember, you know?
This light.
Yeah, it's the same.
I woke up with this intense pain.
The first thing maybe I say was,
itai, it hurts.
He didn't stop.
The only way I could
get out was when I said,
"I have to go to the bathroom,
I need to pee. Now!"
I remember seeing this small
body wash towel,
all the men's cosmetics were
placed very neatly.
And then I realised, I'm in a hotel
room, where he is staying.
I was confused.
I didn't know what had happened,
how I got there.
I tried to find my clothes and get
my stuff and out,
but then he was standing in front of
the bathroom door.
And he pushed me on the bed again.
I tried to fight, but he
was quite strong.
I wasn't able to get any air,
and he was on top of me,
on my head, and I couldn't breathe.
And I thought, this is it.
I'm going to die here.
It felt like I am pleasing him more
saying, stop, please, in Japanese.
So I cursed at him in English.
I said, "Fuck off.
"What the fuck are you doing?"
In Japanese he said,
"Ii gouka dayo"
So he said, "You've passed."
And I got panicked, like,
what do you mean?
And then all the shame came on me.
I didn't...
I didn't... I didn't do this.
But I did. He did.
And I passed.
Shiori suspects she may
have been drugged.
But acknowledges she has no evidence
as no drug test was administered.
Mr Yamaguchi says Shiori
lost her memory
because she drank too much alcohol.
Mr Yamaguchi says that in his
room Shiori was repeatedly sick,
and partially undressed
and fell asleep.
He says that when she woke up she
was sober, and apologised to him for
getting drunk. And that when they
later had sex,
she was an active participant and
showed no signs of resistance.
He says they parted the next morning
on good terms
and that she e-mailed him initially
without mentioning any assault.
Shiori denies that her e-mails
implied she consented.
Shiori's case has become part of a
growing debate
about traditional gender roles
in Japan.
There is a sense in the culture that
it's OK for a man to view women as
objects. You know, it's
only very recently
that certain porn magazines are not
visibly displayed
at these convenience stores where
families go and buy milk
and eggs, and newspapers,
and what have you.
There they are, displayed
on the racks.
And some of these involve
rape fantasies.
And there are men who are getting
their sex education from them.
It's a common motif in
Japanese erotica,
of the woman resisting and then the
man imposing himself on her
and then she decides that,
oh, she likes it.
I really wish I could
go back and tell myself
what I should have done.
I didn't know. No-one told me.
Shiori called a rape crisis centre
on the outskirts of Tokyo,
but they refused to give her
any advice
unless she attended an interview
in person.
At that time I felt like I couldn't
even move out from bed.
And it was just scary to take
public transportation by myself,
travel two hours to get there.
Though she didn't visit at the time,
Shiori now wants to see the
centre for herself.
They can see us, they said.
The rape crisis centre has asked for
the location
to be kept confidential.
Most of the staff members also asked
for their identities to be hidden.
The centre is run by
Kazuko Hirakawa.
It is the capital's only 24 hour
rape crisis centre,
serving a population of
13 million people.
The centre receives around
6,000 phone calls a year.
But of those, only around
100 of the callers visit in person.
Police investigations benefit from
forensic evidence
being taken from an alleged victim
as soon as possible.
This is done with what's known as a
rape kit.
But in Japan, these kits are
currently only stocked in hospitals,
in 14 of the country's 47 regions.
Five days after the alleged assault,
Shiori went to her local police
station to report her allegations.
There were several people waiting in
this waiting room.
At the reception, I had to tell him
that I wanted to speak
with a female officer.
And he asked me why.
I have to tell him that I was raped.
This female officer took me to one
of the investigation rooms
and she asked me what had happened.
It took me two hours, and I cried
so much.
I was having a panic attack.
She told me, I'm sorry, but
I am actually
from the traffic department,
and I can't file your case.
So can you talk to a
male investigator?
You've got a police force that is
overwhelmingly male.
So, if you have all males
investigating this,
with some very backward ideas on
what is sexual assault,
what is sexual consent, then you're
going to have problems.
Shiori was assigned an investigator
in the Takanawa district,
30 minutes away. She was called in
to re-enact her account
of what happened.
On the top floor of the
Takanawa police,
they have this, sort of, like, gym.
I think there were three
investigators overall.
And they were all male.
I had to lay down on this soft,
blue mattress on the floor.
And they brought this big,
life-size doll.
And they placed it on top of me and,
sort of, started to move it
and taking photos of it, asking me,
was it like this,
or was it like that.
All the flash made me
so dizzy and sick,
and I have to turn off my mind...
..to try to not think about what
is going on.
Recreating alleged assaults using
dolls is a method commonly used
by the police in Japan.
Campaigners have criticised the
traumatising effect this can have on
women. Some even calling it
the second rape.
Over the next two months,
the police obtained CCTV evidence
from the hotel,
further witness statements, and DNA
from Shiori's clothing.
A warrant was issued for
Mr Yamaguchi's arrest.
The investigator had what he thought
was a case.
They were set to arrest Yamaguchi.
He was coming back through Narita
airport in Tokyo, from Washington,
the Washington bureau.
Shiori says the investigator was
then called by a senior officer and
instructed not to arrest
Mr Yamaguchi.
The police will not comment
on the case,
but a top Tokyo police official,
Itaru Nakamura, has since confirmed
in the press
that he stopped the arrest.
Let me tell you, as someone who has
been covering the police here
since 1993, this doesn't happen.
When you get an arrest warrant for a
crime as serious as rape,
you don't shelve it.
You arrest the person and you
interrogate them.
That's how it works.
If he wasn't a friend of the
Prime Minister,
would he have been allowed
to walk away?
The case was then transferred to the
Tokyo Metropolitan Police,
but in August 2016,
after a 12-month investigation,
prosecutors decided that there
was insufficient evidence
to pursue a case against
Mr Yamaguchi.
Part of me, I have to be honest with
you, I thought,
maybe I should forget about it.
This is maybe the way you have to
be as a woman.
And that really disgusts me.
I felt, this is wrong, because I
haven't done anything wrong.
To successfully appeal the decision,
Shiori felt she would have to
undertake her own investigation,
a task that was to take
her nine months.
Today is 2017, May the 7th.
I'm recording this because I know
the truth I have,
and I claim what happened to me
two years ago, will be public now.
And I do want to do this, to talk
about truth, and...
..ask for justice for the future.
Shiori is appealing the decision to
drop her case,
and going against centuries
of tradition,
she has also decided to go public
with her allegations.
I felt that I tried every path that
I can take.
And talking to public, openly was
the only choice that I have left.
I had a big no-no from my family.
They really didn't want me to do it.
I remember exactly what my sister
say, "Why is it has to be you?"
It was clear right from the moment
that she gave her public press
conference that it was
highly unusual.
Someone came forward,
was willing to give her own name and
talk about it on the record
and also name this person who was a
very prominent journalist in Japan.
She was putting her neck out.
It was a huge risk.
In Japan, we tend to put a lid on
things that are unpleasant.
She came out very publicly and, you
know, I think some people reacted,
you know, how shameful to come out.
You know, these are private things.
You know, don't talk about your
private things in public.
"She's always sleeping around to get
these things.
"She must be a prostitute.
"Go back to Korea."
I... Yeah, there is just my
family's photo.
"Shiori's father,
who has scary eyes."
They're targeting me, our family.
My sister, her face is going to be
on internet
and she didn't sign up for this.
Yeah, so...
..I don't want her to go
through this.
No-one. I don't want anyone to
go through this.
As Shiori's story gains traction in
the press,
Government MPs and political
commentators begin publicly
questioning her account.
CAMERA OPERATOR: Have you ever
experienced any discrimination
or harassment?
Mr Yamaguchi's closeness to the
Prime Minister
means the story quickly becomes
highly politicised.
Opposition MPs set up a cross-party
panel to question the authorities
about the dropped arrest warrant.
Representatives from the National
Police Agency
and Ministry of Justice attend to
answer questions
but demand that their faces are not
shown by the press.
Japan's National
Police Agency maintains
that there was no misconduct in
the resignation of Shiori's case.
But as her story grows ever
more political,
Shiori becomes increasingly anxious.
After going public I felt unsafe.
It wasn't just me who
was threatened.
It was my family, my friends, so the
paranoia and the fear I had,
I was scared.
People with power can do what
they want to do.
And I'm just... I'm no-one.
I actually called the discount store
nearby my house,
asking, "Do you have wire detector?"
I had to live a completely
different life.
I couldn't use public
I couldn't go out.
I miss going out with my friends to
the bar, to cafe,
without thinking about anything.
Without people seeing me, in a way.
Yeah. I miss that.
Shiori's appeal to have her case
reopened has been considered
by a review panel of 11 members
of the public.
If her appeal fails,
there will be no further possibility
of criminal charges.
With Shiori's appeal rejected,
Mr Yamaguchi is no longer under
criminal investigation.
He announces that he will be
resuming his work as a journalist.
He was never arrested or indicted
for a crime.
And, I think, in fairness, we need
to point that out.
He was never arrested or
indicted for a crime.
So as far as the criminal justice
system is concerned,
there is no case against him.
Three months on from losing
her appeal,
Shiori has become a campaigner on
issues around sexual assault.
She's been invited to address
students at Sophia University,
in Tokyo.
You know, Japanese education could
do a lot better.
The numbers that I saw
among my students,
I think is a sign that the education
system really failed in that aspect
of really educating about consent.
And so we were extremely fortunate
to have Shiori come to our class,
talking about the issues
around sexual assault.
If you grow up in Japanese society
everyone has experienced sexual
violence or sexual assault, but not
everyone considers it was.
Especially when you start using
public transportation
as a high school girl. That's when
it happens everyday.
So, whenever we get to the classroom
that was always the topic.
Today this man jerk off on me.
Today this man caught my skirt.
But this was something that we have
to deal with.
We never report it.
One of the questions that I asked
students was whether
they know anyone that
has been raped.
22 students in the class said yes.
This is not just train
molestation, this is rape.
And so my question is,
how many of those did the women
actually come forth
or tell the authorities?
Women just are not coming
forth with it,
so it kinda stays
underneath the surface.
After her unsuccessful appeal,
Shiori is now filing a civil case
against Mr Yamaguchi.
She's meeting with her lawyer,
Yuko Nashihiro, before submitting
the case papers to court.
If Mr Yamaguchi loses, he will have
to pay damages.
He's defending the case,
and denies any wrongdoing.
The case could take more than a
year and a half.
This case could affect the case
which would come in the future.
So I do feel pressure, that we have
to do our best.
Taking civil case is the only way I
can ask this question again,
so we have this evidence, we have
this video, we have this witness.
What do you think?
In October 2017, allegations against
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein
make global headlines.
The #MeToo movement sees women
around the world making allegations
of sexual misconduct.
But in Japan, the response is muted.
One of the reasons the #MeToo
movement hasn't taken off in Japan
is because a lot of women here are
like, what? You know, like, groped?
Like, not sexually assaulted,
not raped?
You're upset about being groped?
Or having someone try to pressure
you into having sex?
Like, that's your level of outrage?
Like, that's nothing.
Like, that's our daily lives.
The #MeToo movement leads to renewed
publicity around Shiori's case and
Japanese women begin to reach out to
Shiori in private.
I start getting e-mails
from survivors.
That was surprising.
I didn't expect that people would
start talking to me.
Shiori has come to meet a woman who
says she was sexually assaulted
at knife-point by
a stranger a year ago.
She only ever told one friend and
didn't report it to the police.
We have this word which is
"gaman-tsuyoi", "nintai-tsuyoi".
It's often talked in a positive way
that how enduring,
how being patient, is a good thing.
But being enduring,
being patient about this pain,
being silent,
keeping this into yourself,
I don't think it had helped much.
And I think that is why it has been
hard for people to talk about it.
There are signs that the government
is beginning to take the issue more
seriously. In 2017,
the first-ever nationwide fund
to support sexual
crime victims is established.
The government has committed
1 million to this fund.
By comparison the UK, with half
the population of Japan,
spends 40 times this amount.
Shiori's case has caught
the attention of policymakers
and she manages to arrange a meeting
at the Cabinet Office.
Kazuaki Sagita is from
the Gender Equality Bureau.
The #MeToo movement means
Shiori's claims
are being more widely
reported abroad.
Opposition MPs use the opportunity
to question the Prime Minister.
There are other signs
of change in Japan.
In a historic move, the Japanese
parliament reforms the law on rape
for the first time in 110 years.
The minimum sentence is increased
from three years to five,
and men are allowed to allege rape
for the first time.
The day of Shiori's first court
hearing is approaching.
I think it's a letter.
Ah, so, they've been...
It's like...
It's like...
Supporting letter.
The parcel of cards has been sent by
a citizens group in Aichi,
a region in central Japan.
"We are on your back."
"Don't give up."
"You're not alone."
Wow. That's...
Just amazing.
"I'm an 80 years old grandma,
"but I'm sending you my best energy
to you.
"Go, Shiori."
"I'm always watching you.
We are all on your side."
I never realised how powerful this
could be.
"The memory of sexual experience
should be a happy memory,
"not the pain."
That is just so sweet.
It's just so sweet.
# Just turn around now
# You're not welcome any more
# Weren't you the one who tried to
hurt me with goodbye?
# Did you think I'd crumble?
# Did you think I'd lay down
and die?
# Oh, no, not I!
# I will survive. #
I need to feel cheerful.
I don't want to put sad face.
I do want to show that I'm OK.
And I'm not doing this all alone.
I'm doing this with everyone else.
It's the day of Shiori's first
civil hearing.
She hasn't been to the courts
since she did her press conference
there six months ago.
# I will survive! Hey, hey! #
I remember the first
press conference,
I saw some familiar faces among the
journalists, so I start smiling.
But then I got backlash on that.
They were all, like, why is
she smiling?
Why is she...? You know.
And especially media,
they just take the...
When I have more serious face on me,
so every time I see these newspaper
and photo, I go like this.
This is such a different feeling
than the last time
I went to the court.
I remember it was really green.
And I was so scared.
But this time it feels very
different, and...
..just makes me think it's
been six months.
Since I became this girl
who was raped, to the public.
I've no regrets of what I did.
I know at the same time I
had no choice.
I do feel a change. And it all has
to start from people.
If you make a move, there would be
some certain wave, that's for sure.
I experienced in a good way and bad
way at the same time, but...
It's better than being silent.