Kazuyo Saito, a taxi driver who does not work at night
to avoid aggression, on November 17, 2017 in Tokyo
Rinko Nakajiri says she was raped at the age of 17 by a
producer who had promised her to record a record, but she had
never revealed her aggression, terrified of breaking her career
Twenty years later, this housewife has long left the world
of music and decided to confront her demons, encouraged by the
#MeToo movement to free speech from victims of sexual
While this wave has spread to many countries, it has
remained limited in Japan where only a few testimonies have
emerged, in a country where victims of such acts are rather
encouraged to shut up.
„It’s almost impossible to talk about this in Japan,“ Rinko
Nakajiri told AFP. „There is a terrible taboo about rape,
people prefer to keep it a secret.“
This mother of two tells of being assaulted „in a studio
late at night (…) and many times after this first time“. „I
was worried that my career would be over if I had resisted or
talked about it,“ she says.
If the case of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was
covered by the Japanese media, few have looked into potentially
similar situations in the Asian archipelago, and almost no
woman in the entertainment world has spoken.
– ‚Threat‘ –
Reporter Shiori Ito, who accuses a TV reporter of
raping her in 2015, January 30, 2018 in Tokyo
Ha-Chu, author and blogger, is one of the exceptions. She
reported in December that she was harassed by a creative
director of the Dentsu advertising group, Yuki Kishi, when she
was working there. His testimony was relayed by several media
and Mr. Kishi publicly apologized.
After working for Dentsu, he had founded his own company and
announced, following these revelations, that he was going to
resign, explaining „to feel great responsibility (…) for
stirring up excitement in the company. business“.
In Japan, where society remains tinged with a certain
patriarchy, denouncing this kind of violence is not without
Shiori Ito paid a heavy price when she told her story last
year. The 28-year-old journalist accused a TV man of drugging
and raping her in 2015 after having invited her to a
For making her story public, especially in a book titled
„Black box“, she suffered a flood of attacks on the internet.
„I received messages calling me a slut, a prostitute,“ recalls
the journalist, who recently spoke at the UN headquarters.
„I have also received threats and fear for the life of my
family,“ she says.
The journalist also lamented a medical examination that
turned to „interrogation“ and denounced the attitude of the
police, who asked her to mimic her rape, a life-sized doll
representing her alleged attacker.
– Centennial Act –
„The #MeToo movement has undoubtedly triggered speeches,“
said Sachi Nakajima, herself a victim of domestic violence and
founder of the NGO Resilience, which helps victims.
However, the story of Shiori Ito „did not create a
changeover, nothing happens, nobody is arrested, even in her
case,“ she regrets. Police waited three weeks before opening an
investigation and the alleged perpetrator, who denied the
charges, was not worried. Shiori Ito launched a civil suit
Sachi Nakajima calls into question the century-old Japanese
law on sexual crimes, which Parliament only reformed last year
to broaden the notion of rape and strengthen sanctions.
Last year, only one-third of the rape proceedings were
referred to a court and of the 1,678 people tried, only 285
were sentenced to more than three years in prison, according to
figures from the Ministry of Justice.
And according to a government survey
conducted in 2017, only 2.8% of rape victims said they spoke to
the police, while 58.9% did not tell anyone, not even friends
or relatives. members of their family.
In Japan, „many men think that women’s bodies belong to
them,“ says Sachi Nakajima, saying that in this country „the
definition of consent is completely skewed“.
„If you go to a police station to denounce a burglary, we do
not tell you + why were not you at home at that time? + It is
just as absurd to say (to women denouncing aggression): + You
must have provoked +, „she indignantly.