Ms. Ito's life in the first half of 2017 in chronological order, when she finally became known to the world. The sources are colored as followed:
Her book "Black Box"➡
Posts on social media➡
My comments will be indicated by 💡, actions of Ms. Ito by 🔴, actions of Mr. Yamaguchi by 🔵, actions of Mr. Ahlmark by 💚, and actions of Mr. Sato by 💜.
- 💛Mr. Yuta Okamura
Jan 01: 🔴A friend of Ms. Ito posted a photo of them visiting the Heian Shrine in Kyoto on her social media.
👆It may not have been taken on Jan. 1, but it seems that it is at least late November to December 2016 due to their clothes. Her friend seems she got interested in wearing Kimono (Japanese traditional garment) since 2016, so she might have invited Ms. Ito to the trip.
Jan 05: 🔴A friend of Ms. Ito posted a photo of them visiting Toyokawa Inari Shrine in Akasaka Mitsuke, Tokyo, on her social media.
👆Posted by the same friend as above. But it seems they actually visited the shrine on this day.
Ms. Ito spent the New Year of 2016 with Mr. Ahlmark in England, but in 2017, she spent the New Year in Japan.
Jan 05: 🔴Shared the trailer of "Lonely Death" documentary on her Facebook
In the comments of this post, Ms. Ito replied to a comment of congratulation from a seemingly close friend, "Thank you! At last! There was another big upset though...I'll tell you next time! lol" I'm also a woman, but when I tell my friend, “I'll tell you next time! lol", it's 100% girls talk about relationships/boys. lol
By "another", it means that there was another "big upset" before. The relationship with Mr. Ahlmark might have not been going well since the latter half of 2016.
Jan 10: 💚Mr. Ahlmark announced the broadcasting of the "Lonely Death" documentary on social media.
After this, he traveled around mainly in Southeast Asia, and no photos of Ms. Ito were posted on his social media until April 2018. I'm not sure exactly when, but it seems that the relationship deteriorated at the end of 2016 and they broke up at the beginning of 2017.
Jan 31: 🔴A video of The Economist "The Earth Circle: making environmentalism pay its way" was published
According to Ms. Ito's website, although it is unclear in what position she worked, she is involved in the production. The Economist is a British weekly newspaper published by the Economist Group in London. I assume this is also a job she got via Mr. Ahlmark.
Feb 28: 🔴Announced on her Facebook that the documentary "Racing in Cocaine Valley" was out
She wrote in Japanese, "I had a lot of fun every day in the hot jungle. I am planning to go to South America this year again! I have to work on my Spanish."
Al Jazeera is a media outlet that Mr. Ahlmark had repeatedly provided films. I assume this is also a work realized via Mr. Ahlmark's introduction.
🔴A journalist, Kiyoshi Shimizu contacted her and said the Weekly Shincho offered to cover the case with Mr. Yamaguchi. They decided to have a meeting. However, she had to go to Colombia for the coverage so they decided to meet after returning home.
💡Kiyoshi Shimizu, the journalist who quietly disappeared.
Kiyoshi Shimizu, a journalist who is famous for his book in which he accused the police of its sloppy investigation in a murder case, says Ms. Ito contacted him through a personal route at the end of July 2015. He appeared on a radio program and talked about it on July 3, 2017, after Ms. Ito had a press conference in May. [Transcription in Japanese]
I listened to the radio program, it seems Mr. Shimizu judged that Ms. Ito's claim had "credibility" only because her story had not changed. So basically he listened to only her side of the story and believed it. He must have watched the hotel's security camera footage, but I guess the hotel's security footage is just like a magic mirror that shows the viewer what they want to believe.
He was supporting her publicly that much, at least he should have tweeted something when Ms. Ito won the civil case. But he was totally silent. It was too abrupt that he shut his mouth about her, it makes me want to ask him gently, "Oh, Kiyoshi, honey...What have you found out?"
I'll tell you what happened around April 2018, when Mr. Shimizu stopped supporting Ms. Ito in the next, next post.
👆Hi, my name is Ito, a freelance journalist/documentary maker. I'm currently covering FARC in Colombia, and I'd love to ask you about something. Could you contact me?
Apr 29: 🔴On the way back from Colombia, she stopped in New York.
May 01: 🔴Friends reunion in New York
🔴After returning to Japan, she attended the meeting with Mr. Kiyoshi Shimizu and the editor-in-chief of Weekly Shincho. At this point, she already decided to open her face and her full name, but Mr. Shimizu stopped her from disclosing her full name.
May 07: 🔴She filmed a video of herself talking about the situation in English that later was inserted into the BBC documentary.
💡Some people think the BBC had been sticking to the unknown woman, Ms. Ito, from this time, but I rather think she had already made a plan to sell herself to foreign media as a victim of sexual assault. The BBC documentary filming was apparently taken place in fall-winter 2017, and it seems to be decided around the summer when Ms. Ito allegedly was offered to migrate to England by a female human rights group in London.
Judging from the patterns so far, it's highly possible that she didn't migrate to London by a human rights group's offer as she explains. I'm guessing that Ms. Erica Jenkin or Ms. Hanna Aqvilin, the producers of the BBC documentary about Ms. Ito, told her that she could stay in their apartment's guest room whenever she wanted, or something like that. I will discuss this later.
What I've found in the research of Ms. Ito's life so far is that she is a person who has a strong desire to be recognized overseas and live abroad. She's pushy and ambitious. When she wants something, she wants it right away, but not persistent. She's very good at attracting sympathy and getting support from others, especially men. And to get what she wants, she has no qualms to exaggerate, distort, and hide for her convenience.
We've seen her 2015 and 2016, and how she was moving vigorously here and there, ordinary people can't even imagine. Since the information I could get online must be just a part of it, not everything. It's highly possible that she actually traveled more or did more things. It almost makes me dizzy just by writing about all of her trips.
With all that enthusiasm, ambition, energy, and charm, getting what you want may not be so difficult. People who succeed in society may have similar characteristics more or less. In fact, after the press conference with her first name and her face open, Ms. Ito started to move around the world more actively.
She's actively promoting help for victims of sexual assault, improved legislation, and the spread of sexual education as a "rape survivor". Some people may think, "It's good for society and the public, who cares if she's a real victim or not?" But if the social significance is based on the compulsory sacrifice of a man's career, honor, family, and life, it cannot happen in a civilized society.
May 08: 🔵Mr. Yamaguchi posted on Facebook that he received questions from the magazine Weekly Shincho.
I translate his post into English in order to be fair.
I'm currently struggling with eye disease, so I had a hard time reading the small letters, but I did my best to answer the questions as politely as possible. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of article will be published and how much my answers are reflected.
The roses which were hit by heavy rain and looked down rose again after the storm.
May 10: The article about the case was published for the first time in the Weekly Shincho magazine.
🔵Mr. Yamaguchi posted on Facebook about the article in Weekly Shincho.
This comment of Mr. Yamaguchi is super long. So bear with it
[About the Weekly Shincho's article]
Regarding this week's issue of Weekly Shincho, I would like to speak about my views and coping policy to my friends on Facebook, who have been much support and guidance. Due to the nature of the matter, there is a lot of personal content that is irrelevant to my work as a journalist, so please skip this if you are not interested.
⚫︎ First, let me clarify the following three points:
- I have never violated the law.
- As a result of a strict investigation by the authorities, the final conclusion has been made that there was no illegal activity.
- I have not been arrested or prosecuted during this process.
(Not limited to this time, I have never been arrested or prosecuted)
Again, I have never violated the law. If, as mentioned in the article, I used the so-called "date rape drug," filmed with a hidden camera, or raped her, then the great Japanese law enforcement or judicial agency should not have overlooked. I provided the authorities with all sorts of evidence, including my personal computer, my tablet, and my mobile device, and after cooperating fully with the investigation, they finally concluded that there was no criminal activity.
If you were to be accused of what you didn't do, I'm sure you would do the same as I did.
Even after the final conclusion that there was no criminal activity about a year ago, I was aware that this individual was trying to sell this story as a scandal to various media. However, I have nothing to hide, so I have continued to work as a journalist by publishing books and appearing on TV.
It's really hard to understand why this article came out after I left the company and started media activities in earnest. In any case, this article will seriously damage my social life, so I will consider decisive measures, including legal actions.
⚫︎ About the arrest warrant
In the article, it seems that some political force worked and the arrest warrant was suspended, but it is clear as day that it's impossible for me to ask someone about the arrest warrant at all. So let me explain in chronological order. (Although it is stated that the arrest warrant was issued in the article, I still have no way of knowing whether or not it was true. The people from the authority never showed or mentioned it. All investigations were voluntary.)
In March 2015, when I was the chief of TBS Washington bureau, I wrote an article about "The comfort stations for the Korean army during the Vietnam War" in Weekly Bunshun. In late April, I was punished by the company for it, and I was ordered to move to the sales department after being dismissed from the Washington bureau chief.
"Yamaguchi's return to Narita Airport in Japan on June 8th" in the article of Weekly Shincho refers to the day when I returned to Japan to start working at the sales department. The article states that the arrest warrant was canceled just before my arrival in Narita Airport.
However, when returning to Japan, of course, I did not know that I was the subject of an investigation by the authorities at all. I arrived at Narita Airport normally and I remember heading to the city center with my former boss of the company who came to pick me up.
After that, I think it was in the middle of June, I learned about the damage report for the first time when the Metropolitan Police Department officers came to my house. The two officers were very polite and asked me to cooperate in the voluntary investigation. I didn't have anything to hide, so I told them that I would fully comply, and all the investigations started.
In short, when I returned to Japan on June 8, I didn't know anything about the damage report or the secret investigation, let alone the arrest warrant. No one can take any action to cancel an arrest warrant who does not even know if it has been issued.
⚫︎ About the visit to the US this time
Right now, I am covering stories overseas continuously, starting with the forum in North America on May 1. In addition to interviewing the US and other countries about the situation in North Korea, I also interview experts and foreign affairs officials regarding Japan-US relations to hear their thoughts. In the midst of it, on May 6th, a reporter from Weekly Shincho contacted me via mobile phone and email, and received the inquiries. As a result, I first learned that Weekly Shincho will publish an article about me. Therefore, it is completely different from the fact that I fled abroad because Weekly Shincho's article would be uncomfortable for me.
It became a long and random sentence. Once again, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of you who sent me messages of encouragement. I look forward to your continued guidance.
🔴Her first press conference. On the same day, a complaint is submitted to the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution.
🔵Mr. Yamaguchi posted on Facebook about Ms. Ito's press conference.
About the press conference regarding the article of Weekly Shincho]
A woman who was the informant of the article about me in Weekly Shincho had a press conference, so I would like to give my opinion.
First of all, I've never violated the law.
Therefore, since June of last year, I have sincerely responded to the investigation by the authorities. A detailed investigation based on the evidence, including the issues that the woman asserted at this press conference, was conducted for more than a year, resulting in the conclusion of no prosecution. So I am neither a suspect nor a defendant.
Of course, all individuals of the non-prosecutable cases have the right to appeal to the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution, so if the complaint is filed, I will respond in all sincerity as I have until now.
On the other hand, the decision not to be prosecuted was already announced to all parties in July last year. With this conclusion, I started full-scale press activities.
If the woman was really dissatisfied with the non-indictment conclusion, she would have filed a complaint immediately. Why did she take future actions after I became exposed to the media, and why did the article of the weekly magazine that unilaterally picked up the allegation of the woman come out first, I'm trying to get the big picture to consider the future course of action.
💡The deleted press conference
The video of the press conference on this day somehow cannot be found, as it's talked about on other websites and blogs.
I found a partial video of the press conference that was in the news on that day, so I'll post it here.
💛Mr. Yuta Okamura
In exchange for Mr. Ahlmark, the man who is currently supporting Ms. Ito professionally and privately (but not officially) is Mr. Yuta Okamura. It is not until 2018 that the two started working together, but I would like to introduce him first here.
Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, in 1987 or 1988 (estimated by graduation year). His biography on his own website says as below.
Yuta Okamura is a filmmaker born and raised in Japan. He studied directing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, earning his BA degree in 2012. He has directed numbers of branded contents, TV shows and music videos in Los Angeles, Tokyo and around the world.
However, this introduction hardly conveys Mr. Okamura's awesomeness. I really enjoyed this interview article.
To put it simply, Mr. Okamura, who had a dream of becoming a film director from an early age, went to NIC International College in Japan after graduating from high school. He studied English for one year, which he could hardly speak at that time, in order to enter the University of Southern California (USC) which is said to be the world's best academy of film making. Besides studying English, he also joined a movie club. Since he didn't have a personal computer, he applied for a video contest from Adobe and won a desktop computer. He made a short film with his movie club friends with that computer and won the Grand Prix at the domestic film festival.
Upon completion of NIC, he received a scholarship and first took liberal studies at Santa Monica College. After that, he transferred to USC, which is said the chance for entry is one in eighty. At the time of graduation, he was selected as one of the directors of the graduation production that only four people can be chosen in the school year, and the short film they made, "Waking Up", won numerous film festivals, including Best Short Film, Best Director, Best Acting at Asian On Film Award.
In 2017, when he presumably met Ms. Ito, he moved back and forth between his hometown of LA and Japan, working as a director or an editor, appearing at the award ceremony of a documentary he had participated in. However, as soon as he started to work with Ms. Ito, he shows his complete devotion towards her as if he had left his own life behind.
In the next post, we will see Ms. Ito's second half of 2017, when she started to be sought after in the media, including the moves of Mr. Okamura, in chronological order.
You can click the link below to see the Japanese version of this post.