Rina Gonoi, Sexually Abused in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, Celebrates Time Mag Recognition

Yasushi Kaneko / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rina Gonoi holds a copy of Time magazine in New York on Tuesday.

NEW YORK — Former Self-Defense Force officer Rina Gonoi — picked as one of Time magazine’s “TIME100 Next” rising leaders for 2023 — attended a celebration party on Tuesday night in New York.

The 24-year-old came to prominence after speaking up over the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of male officers while serving in the Ground Self-Defense Force.

Talking to reporters prior to the party while clad in a judo uniform, Gonoi said: “I want to keep speaking out against that which is wrong and bad. Judo has imbued me with the strength to stand up again and again, even when I’m close to losing heart. I decided to attend the party and just be myself.”

Detailing the reasons for her inclusion on its prestigious list, Time magazine wrote: “[Gonoi] bravely launched a public campaign to demand truth and accountability. The resulting wave of support pushed officials to take action.”