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Ex-ambassador to Iran not prosecuted over alleged indecent assault of subordinate

TOKYO (TR) – Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of a former ambassador to Iran over the alleged sexual assault of a female subordinate in Tehran seven years ago, reports NHK (Nov. 5).

On October 14, 2012, Kinichi Komano, then the ambassador, allegedly kissed the woman and fondled her body at his official residence in the capital.

Following the incident, the victim temporarily took sick leave after being diagnosed with acute stress reaction.

This past March, the woman lodged a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. On May 30, police sent Komano to prosecutors on suspicion of indecent assault.

On Tuesday, prosecutors with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office announced the non-prosecution of Komano. No reason for the non-prosecution was given.

Kinichi Komano (Twitter)

Afghanistan and Ethiopia

Komano, 72, entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1970. After stints in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and other countries, he became ambassador to Iran in September 2010.

The day of the incident in Tehran took place on the day before he left his post. Previously, Komano dined with the victim on the first floor of his official residence. He then asked her to the second floor for coffee, according to a report in the Mainichi Shimbun.

Komano said in an interview with the paper that he wanted to bid her goodbye with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. However, he attempted to kiss her on the lips, an act she resisted.

“I didn’t go any further,” he told the Mainichi. “What I did doesn’t constitute indecent assault.”

However, the woman maintains that Komano fondled her chest, reached under her skirt and massaged her thigh.

“Since Mr. Komano had close ties with dignitaries in Iran, I was unable to disclose the case for fear that it could adversely affect bilateral relations,” the woman was quoted by the Mainichi.

Komano retired from the ministry that November. The following February, the ministry warned him to never contact the woman again. It compiled a two-page document on the matter in August of last year, the Mainichi reported.

“Sexual harassment is something that cannot be forgiven,” Takeshi Osuga, Foreign Press Secretary, said in April, “and MOFA handles cases in which sexual harassment is confirmed with severe punishment.”