Japan Govt Sued over Sexual Assault by Lawmaker’s Ex-Secretary

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo District Court in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A former news reporter filed a 11-million-yen damages lawsuit against the government with Tokyo District Court on Wednesday, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by a then secretary to a lawmaker.

The former secretary to Kiyoshi Ueda, a member of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament, had been referred to prosecutors by police mainly on suspicion of quasi-forcible sexual intercourse. But the case was dropped as he killed himself.

According to the complaint, the former reporter was indecently assaulted by the former secretary in a taxi and elsewhere in March 2020 after attending a meeting with lawmakers at the invitation of a supporter group of Ueda.

She was sexually assaulted by the former secretary three days later in a hotel after he called her with a promise to provide information and made her drink alcohol.

Ueda is considered responsible because he failed to exercise necessary care, the plaintiff side said, adding that a different politician told her that it was difficult to understand why she filed a complaint about such a commonplace incident.

At a news conference, Ueda said that violence and harassment must not be tolerated. He added he had not even dreamed that the former secretary would engage in alleged acts since he seemed to be a very serious person.