I have filed a complaint against sexual violence because I wanted to find the truth as a journalist. I also thought that only learning about the damage could bring about a change in Japanese society."
Shiri Ito, a freelance journalist and documentary director who started the MeToo movement in Japan, visited Korea. He was a presenter of the Asia-Pacific Reporting session at the Asia Conference on International Investigations in Seoul.
"The U.S. movement that began with the New York Times' report on October 5 last year is now a year. I feel again that the role of a journalist is really important in that the media made such a big change.
In May last year, Ito held a press conference in Japan to reveal his sexual assault. In Japan, which is closed to sexual violence, it was the first time that a victim made public his face and held a press conference with his real name. In April 2015, when he was sexually assaulted by Noriyuki Yamaguchi, the director of the Washington bureau at TBS, Japan, he reported to the police that the investigation was not conducted properly, and the prosecution ruled against him. The fact that the perpetrator was not arrested with the help of a close aide to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was found to be the source of the Japanese magazine "Weekly New Year's Day".
"When the case was suspended just one year and four months after the incident, I lost my will to live. But I was encouraged to fight again after seeing a photo of a sexual assault in the U.S. military at the World Press Photo Exhibition in Tokyo. I was ready to die, so my fear disappeared.”
At first he felt angry at himself for being sexually assaulted. However, he realized that there was a problem with the Japanese legal and social system when he was attacked for the second time during the investigation. In October last year, he published a book called "Black Box," which describes the process. But to the victim, Japanese public opinion was cold.
" Some people have me at the time of ‘flowersnake’ ‘Japanese military sexual slavery’, swore. Especially, women used to call me names. It was even more sad to see the U.S. campaign ignited based on women's solidarity after the wine-star case broke out in the U.S."
The Japanese media completely ignored him, but the foreign media paid attention to him. He supported his struggles in Japanese society, which criticizes victims rather than perpetrators. The BBC has produced a documentary titled "The Hidden Shadows of Japan," which describes his struggle.
Charges he has recently been harassed women have come under harsh criticism in Japanese society for the consideration of the Yutu the (We must act. and wetoo) movement. "Witu Japan," which was established in Japan in March, started as a platform to support victims of sexual violence and improve the system.
"I think education and law are the most important things for Japanese society to change. Though it takes some time to recognize such issues as sexual discrimination through education, the revision of the law prevents the attack on victims of sexual violence.”
He moved to London, England last July. As some right-wing groups continued their online threats, human rights groups in the U.K. proposed moving for his safety. He is a freelance journalist who produces video news and documentaries in foreign media such as Economist, Al Jazeera and Reuters. His first director and production documentary, "The Solicitor," won a silver prize at the New York Festival, a world-renowned media competition, last July.