The day of April 3, 2015, when the incident occurred. The sources are colored as followed:
Her book "Black Box"➡
My comments will be indicated by 💡. actions of Ms. Ito by 🔴, and actions of Mr. Yamaguchi by 🔵.
🔴Went to Yasukuni Shrine from 8 am for the coverage of “Honozumo” (Ceremonial Sumo Tournament)
The conversation before the meeting that day was omitted from her book.
You're working afternoon today, I guess. What time will you be able to come to Ebisu?
Otsukaresama desu. At Ebisu, I will definitely be there by 8:00! Best regards!
I just finished my work! It's earlier than I expected so please let me know when the meeting time in Ebisu is decided!
My mobile number is xxx!
🔴After returning to Reuters to put the equipment down, she went back to her apartment in Harajuku to change clothes because she was covered in sand.
💡In her book, not only does she omit that she returned home to change clothes, but she also writes, the work was prolonged so she got to the station an hour late after the meeting time. Although she wrote in the email that she had finished work earlier than she expected, and she actually went home first. Did she want to hide that she had changed clothes at home? I can't think of any other reason.
Please text me when you get to Ebisu.
Please text me when you get to Ebisu. I'll be there before 8 but take your time, no hurries.
🔵He went to a Kushiyaki (skewers) bar "Toyokatsu" first and was eating alone.
Around 20:00 🔵🔴Met up at Ebisu Station and moved to "Toyokatsu" (3 min walk)
"Toyokatsu" is a popular Kushiyaki (skewers) bar with about 20 seats on the counter that surrounds the kitchen. Right after the end of WWII, in Ebisu, where the area was still heavily damaged, Katsuko Nagashima, the mother of the current owner, started a restaurant in a wooden store with her husband, Toyosaku. The name "Toyokatsu" is a combination of their names.
👇Now her son Taichi and his wife manage the bar.
👇Toyokatsu's 1800ml bottle of wine
Since Ms. Ito and Mr. Yamaguchi's claims differ little by little from here about what they ate and drank in "Toyokatsu," I'll cite each of their claims. ( Ms. Ito's version 🔴 and Mr. Yamaguchi's version🔵)
🔴Five skewers, tripe stew, and pounded Cucumbers. Two beers and one or two small glasses of wine. We talked about the political department in the Washington bureau (in which she wasn't interested.) No mention of the visa. We stayed for about an hour and a half. [from Black Box]
When they left the bar, Ms. Ito was not drunk because she left her coat in the bar and went back to pick it up.
🔵The bar owner says Ms. Ito drank at least two draft beers, a glass of Shiso herb alcohol soda, and several glasses of wine. They stayed for 30-40 min. The owner remembers Ms. Ito talking about her visa because her persistent self-promotion was impressive. Mr. Yamaguchi, leaving her alone who couldn't hold a conversation, talked to a hairstylist customer on his left. Meanwhile, she continued to drink the wine filling her own glasses. (by Eitaro Ogawa, a fellow journalist of Mr. Yamaguchi who did his own investigation on this case) [source]
Ms. Ito drinks at a very fast pace, she was drinking very strong alcohol like a gulp. When I asked, "Are you okay?", she said, "I'm thirsty. I can drink a lot, so I'm fine," and then continued to drink at a high pace. (by Mr. Yamaguchi) [source]
💡The members of "JUSTICE FOR NY" visited "Toyokatsu" and interviewed the owners. They welcomed the members happily knowing that they were supporting Mr. Yamaguchi, and one of the owners, the wife, voluntarily started talking about how it was on the day.
According to the owner's testimony, Ms. Ito said when she arrived at the bar, "I was late because I was taking a shower." "But I came in a hurry and sweated again." She also enthusiastically appealed, "I'd appreciate it if you could consider my application," and they were talking about her visa. The owner, who has a daughter of the same age as Ms. Ito, felt uncomfortable to see Ms. Ito asking for work while being amorous toward Mr. Yamaguchi while drinking.
They gave the rest of the wine to the neighbor guests and left the bar. The second restaurant, Sushi Kiichi, is a 5-6 min walk.
At "Sushi Kiichi"
"Sushi Kiichi" is also an 11-seat small but bright restaurant with an open counter where customers sit face-to-face with the sushi chefs. Of note, is the fact that Kiichi has a private room for 2-6 people, but Mr. Yamaguchi reserved seats at the counter.
👇Tetsuo Endo, the owner-chef of "Sushi Kiichi"
🔴We sat in the back seats at the counter and I had two glasses of Japanese sake. We only ordered some side dishes and no sushi. No mention of the visa. I heard Mr. Yamaguchi and the owner-chef talked about the article of Weekly Bunshun. I went to the bathroom after the second glass, came back and started feeling strange drinking the third glass, and went to the bathroom again. My head went blank and I sat on the toilet bowl with the lid on, resting my head on the water tank. I don't remember from there. [from Black Box]
According to the police investigation, Mr. Yamaguchi and I had 7-8 glasses of sake with only simple side dishes and a sushi roll. I sat down on the other customer's chairs and began to talk to them, walking barefoot in the restaurant. [from Black Box]
🔵According to the owner, Mr. Yamaguchi and Ms. Ito had about 10 glasses (1800ml) in total. Ms. Ito repeatedly ordered cold sake and filled her own glass and drank it. She must have had 6 -7 glasses.
She got drunk and took off her high heels, walked around the restaurant barefoot, and barged into the seats of other customers to chat cheerfully. Such heavy drinking and intoxicated female customers are rare in the restaurant so she left a strong impression on the owner. Meanwhile, Mr. Yamaguchi chatted with Sakana-kun (a fish expert and TV figure well-known for his blowfish-shaped cap), a regular customer of the restaurant, who happened to be sitting next to him.
Ms. Ito went to the bathroom and didn't come out for about 15 minutes. When staff opened it, she collapsed from the toilet and slept in an unnatural posture. When she returned to her seat with the help of staff, she ordered sake again and filled her own glass, and began to drink it. (by Ogawa) [source]
💡Both shops say Ms. Ito was drinking a lot filling her own cup, which contradicts her claim. They wouldn't have remembered her filling her own glass If she hadn't drunk so fast and so many glasses.
If you assume her claim is true, that means both owners of "Kiichi" and "Toyokatsu" are lying. What would they get from lying?
As I explained earlier, "Toyokatsu" is a bar that has more than 70 years of history since the end of the war when Katsuko and Toyosaku started. It must be not easy to run a restaurant bar for 70 years in a location only 3 minutes walk from Ebisu Station. You can know more about Toyokatsu from this link (It's in Japanese so use Google translate.)
From the website of "Sushi Kiichi", you can also feel the passion and character of the owner of the restaurant, Endo. He was born as a son of a fish dealer, he founded "Kiichi" 35 years ago after training Edo-mae sushi. I have visited their site several times to write this blog, but every time it makes my mouth water, it makes me want to close the tab right away (Kidding. I'd love to go there someday.)
If the owners had given false testimonies, it should be because Mr. Yamaguchi had asked them to do so. But, that'd be like confessing his crime to the owners. That's too risky. They would have to have an unbelievably strong and trusting relationship for him to be able to say, "I am a man who rapes women by putting them on drugs. Please be involved by concealing these crimes." the owners of these deep-rooted locally historical establishments would never accept this because of the risk it would bring to their businesses, as well as the lack of morality involved in these alleged crimes.
Took a taxi to Sheraton Miyako Hotel
🔵They left Kiichi at about 22:30 - 23 pm. Ito's walk was unsteady. She took out her own shoulder bag and another customers' bag from the shelf on the left side of the entrance. Since Mr. Yamaguchi was the chief of the Washington bureau, he had to complete several tasks (checking emails, research, and contact via his computer) by around 23 pm. He thought it would take too much time if he sent her to Kanagawa Prefecture (as indicated on her resume). (by Ogawa) [source]
🔴Ms. Ito said, "Please go to the nearest station," so the taxi headed for Meguro Station. They were talking about their work in the back seat. On the way, she again said, "Please go to Meguro Station," and when the taxi got near Meguro Station, Mr. Yamaguchi said, "Go to the Miyako Hotel." Ms. Ito said, "Please get me off at the station before that," but he told her, "We still have to talk about work, I won't do anything." When they arrived at the hotel, Ms. Ito had difficulty getting off, so Mr. Yamaguchi pulled her down in a way that seemed like she was being dragged out, and they entered the hotel almost like he was carrying her. I smelled something bad, so I looked at the back seat and found vomit underneath. [taxi driver's testimony]
🔵I don't remember when Ms. Ito threw up in the taxi. She was certainly very drunk, and I was worried if she would do something unnatural. I couldn't let her off at the station because I thought there was a risk of suffocation in vomiting. She was drunk but conscious because she said sorry and cleaning her vomit with her hand. I couldn't come up with the idea of letting her stay in another room. (by Mr. Yamaguchi)
🔴After getting out of the taxi, Mr. Yamaguchi dragged me out and carried me who was unable to walk. In the video of crossing the hotel lobby, I was not grounded, leaning forward, and dragged powerlessly towards the elevators. [from Black Box]
🔴Inside the taxi, Ms. Ito was repeating like a child, "I clean, I clean, because I made a mess, I make it clean," When Mr. Yamaguchi was getting her out of the door, she was still saying, "I gotta clean, I gotta clean," but he grabbed her arm and said, "It's fine." Her feet were unsteady, she couldn't walk by herself. She's completely drunk, wasted, and in a state of half-awake. She was dragged to the hotel entrance while still repeating, "I gotta clean, I gotta clean," and she said like a crying baby, "Waaaa." [Hotel doorman's testimony]
💡The taxi driver's testimony confirmed that she was able to have a normal conversation in the taxi. However, her book describes on their arrival at the hotel, "dragged me out and carried me," "(I was) dragged powerlessly" as if she had suddenly fallen into a coma. But then again, in the doorman's testimony that Ms. Ito approves, Ms. Ito said, "I gotta clean," "I make it clean," apparently not in a coma.
Also, the taxi driver's testimony does not contain such utterances, and if he heard her saying, "I made a mess," he'd have immediately checked the backseat. However, the taxi driver testified he had noticed the vomit a while after the two had gotten off, which is also contradictory.
Security camera footage of entering the hotel
As is well known, the security camera footage of the two arriving at the hotel is not open to the public at the request of the Sheraton Hotel (according to Ms. Ito's claim). It is a mysterious video in which Ms. Ito claims, "I was not grounded and dragged powerlessly," and Mr. Yamaguchi claims, "she was conscious and walking on her feet."
In addition, Mr. Yamaguchi has been demanding the security camera footage be open to the public, and Ms. Ito also says, "I also want everyone to see it," but Ms. Ito's attorneys sent a notice letter to Mr. Yamaguchi and his attorney urging him not to disclose it. You can almost tell who's lying by looking at this, but it's only natural for a human being to want to see the original video when there's such conflicting views about the same footage.
In fact, however, it is available to see as a court document at the Tokyo District Court. On "Justice for NY," a support website for Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a detailed report who's watched the footage of entering the Sheraton Hotel is posted. (So far in Japanese, English translation coming soon)
It has the reports and claims of witnesses who watched the video such as Ms. Ito herself, Ms. Ito's friend, and Mr. Yamaguchi's lawyer, etc and compares them with their impressions from watching the actual footage. It's well written and very organized, so please take a look.
In the next post, we'll go through what happened inside the hotel room.
You can click the link below to see the Japanese version of this post.