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North Korea Talks; Macron to Address Joint Session of U.S. Congress; Trump under Pressure from Comey Memos, Mueller Probe; Mystery Surrounds Death of Russian Journalist; Japanese Women Face Backlash for Reporting Rape. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We haven't given up anything.

U.S. President Trump reminds the world he knows how to negotiate with North Korea.

Meanwhile the French warns Trump to hold on to the Iran nuclear deal as heads to Washington for a state visit.

And a man underway in Tennessee after a deadly shooting at one of the region's most popular restaurant chains.

Hello everyone, thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump has a busy week ahead of him facing nuclear challenges on two continents. First, he seems to be getting a bit defensive over his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

He's denying on Twitter that he's being too easy on North Korea ahead of the talks. "The Wall Street Journal" reports Mr. Trump wants North Korea to substantially dismantle its nuclear arsenal before lifting any sanctions.

The other challenge: the Iran nuclear deal. French President Emmanuel Macron is due in the United States later Monday and he's bringing a message: don't quash the Iran agreement. It's the best deal you're going to get.

Mr. Trump's tweets on North Korea came in response to a journalist saying the U.S. is giving up too much in his negotiations with North Korea. The president responded by writing in a tweet, "The U.S. gave up nothing while North Korea agreed to denuclearize and end its nuclear and missile testing." He adds the work he's doing now should have been done a long time ago.

This as South Korea gives up a propaganda tool ahead of this week's landmark talks with the North. South Korea's Defense Ministry has ended its propaganda speaker program, which blasts music, news and weather over the DMZ border into North Korea.

Our Paula Hancocks joins us now from Seoul with a closer look at this week's historic talks between the two Koreas. So Paula, as we just reported, South Korea has stopped those propaganda speaker operations near the demilitarized zone in an effort to ease tension ahead of this historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea. That is, of course, a significant move.

What all is expected to come out of this summit?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, it's certainly a step in the right direction, that they've stopped these propaganda broadcasts. It is uncertain at this point whether or not the North Koreans stopped their broadcasts coming the other way as well.

But it just is another indication that the South Koreans and the North Koreans are trying to set a good tempo for the summit itself.

Now, of course, the devil is in the details. We've been hearing this from the Blue House as well. They have welcomed Kim Jong-un, announcing that he stopped nuclear and missile testing.

And they also stated that they welcome the fact that he's going into these talks with that positive vein. But, of course, there is a huge amount of caution and a healthy dose of skepticism, that he is now, according to some analysts, touting himself as the leader of a nuclear state.

That is how he is going into the summit and, of course, the word "denuclearization," that could well mean very different things to the North Koreans as it does to the South Koreans although the South Korean president Moon Jae-in does insist that it means the same thing.

But many are questioning whether or North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would in fact be willing to give up much of his nuclear or missile program, if anything at all -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, and, of course, this summit between the North and the South is there to set the groundwork for the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

But at this point, as you say, because the definition of denuclearization seems to be different on both sides. We've got Donald Trump saying that he's giving up nothing but we have seen movement from the North, haven't we, at this point, pretty much accepting that -- they want to insist that U.S. troops stay in the South.

So what is likely to come out of this, given that the biggest stumbling block at this point is working out where these two leaders will actually meet? HANCOCKS: Well, the location does appear to be a bit of a sticking point. As you can imagine --


HANCOCKS: -- the North Korean leader is not going to want to go too far away from home, you would imagine, and we hear that he would potentially like Pyongyang. But that is not something that many U.S. officials are going to be happy with.

So it's really a balancing act, where to go that's somewhere neutral, that it to be somewhere that Kim Jong-un feels comfortable, potentially somewhere that has an embassy, somewhere that the U.S. president, Donald Trump, feels comfortable as well, that he feels it is going to be fitting for the occasion.

So it'd down to five locations according to Trump at this point -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: And we will see what happens there. Paula Hancocks, joining us from Seoul in South Korea, many thanks to you.

French president Emmanuel Macron arrives in Washington Monday for the first official state visit of Donald Trump's presidency. The Iran nuclear deal is expected to top the agenda.

President Trump has called the agreement "one of the worst deals ever negotiated."

Mr. Macron is urging him not to withdraw from it.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Is this agreement perfect and this JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran?


But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option?

I don't see it. What is a what-if scenario?

All you can be. I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran.


CHURCH: Iran's Foreign Minister warns the U.S. will be viewed as an unreliable partner in future negotiations if it pulls out of this agreement. Take a listen.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Obviously this would be a very bad precedent if the United States sends this message to the international community that the length or the duration of any agreement would depend on the duration of the presidency. That would mean people will, I think, think twice before they start

negotiating with the United States.


ZARIF: -- because negotiations involve give and take. And people will not be prepared to give if the take is only temporary.


CHURCH: And joining us now from Los Angeles is CNN's European affairs commentator, Dominic Thomas.

Dominic, always great to have you on the show. So we know of course that the French president wants Mr. Trump to stick with the Iran nuclear deal.

How likely is it do you think that he can convince the U.S. president to do just that?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that as he begins his visit, at the top of the agenda will be discussions. And the skill of the negotiations and the outcome will be determined by whether or not Emmanuel Macron can convince President Trump that continuing to maintain support for this deal will not be seen as backing down.

I think that the fact that he appeared on FOX News earlier today and began talking about that was in some way strategic because it speaks to Donald Trump's base so that they are already forewarned about the ways in which this negotiation could go.

And it was also very important that Emmanuel Macron spoke in English. This is a really -- an unusual development in these kinds of conversations between France and the United States.

I think that what happened in the last two weeks with the strikes on Syria and the ways in which the United Kingdom, France and the United States worked in a multilateral and coordinated way possibly points to a good direction for this.

And by trying to convince Donald Trump that engagement in this particular -- with this deal also means stability in the region, that the alternative is an Iran and possibly Assad in Syria working together and that the issues down the road will be even greater.

So getting Donald Trump involved at this stage is a good thing and also moving the parameters to say that stage I is this question of the nuclear. But other issues that Donald Trump has spoken about, such as limiting ballistic missiles and so on, is something that Emmanuel Macron threw out there as something that he also supports.

He's putting himself on the same page as President Trump in that regard.

CHURCH: Yes, as you point out, saving face would be critical here for President Trump that, if indeed, he is convinced to change his mind on this. And the two leaders appear to have a very special relationship, compared to other world leaders.

President Macron and his wife will enjoy the first White House state dinner of the Trump presidency and Macron will address the joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

Could this very special relationship between the two leaders help move them closer on not only the Iran nuclear deal but other issues, such as climate change and free trade?

THOMAS: I think that's the big question, is really -- this is a state visit. It inscribes itself in a very long history of Atlantic relations between the United States and France, every single French president since the 1950s --


THOMAS: -- has come on a state visit to the U.S. except for President Sarkozy and every president has addressed the joint session of Congress except for President Hollande.

The fact that I believe that Macron will do this English will be important yet again. And what's going to be interesting is what do they each get out of this visit?

It is clear that Emmanuel Macron's popularity in the United States is much greater than that of Donald Trump's. The traditional relationship has been between the U.S. and Great Britain.

And when we think back to the era of Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher and Reagan, Clinton and Bush and so on, things have changed dramatically. And I think that Emmanuel Macron very much sees himself as filling that important relationship, putting France on the global stage at a point which American leadership has waned and that of the U.K. as well.

But President Trump has also an opportunity here to be taken seriously by somebody who is an outspoken, dynamic person on the global scene. And many people tend to find great distinctions between the two, that both Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump are trying to underscore some of the similarities with them, not just on the terms of their election but how they see questions of tax reform, immigration and so on.

And it is going to be interesting to see how they are able to build consensus and then for Macron to take that back to Europe and speak with his E.U. partners and try to convince them that Donald Trump is somebody that can be enlisted and trusted here in this process.

So there's a lot for Donald Trump at stake here as well.

CHURCH: Yes, we will watch very closely, particularly on the Iran nuclear deal to see if Mr. Trump does indeed change his mind. Dominic Thomas, joining us there from L.A., where it's just after 9 o'clock at night, many thanks to you.

THOMAS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: A manhunt is underway in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Authorities are searching for this man, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, who they say went on a shooting rampage, killing four people.

He entered a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday morning, armed with an assault-type rifle. The shooting ended when a customer wrestled the gun away from Reinking, who then fled on foot. Dianne Gallagher has the details.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question that so many people here in Antioch, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville have today is, why?

Police say that 29-year-old Travis Reinking came to the Waffle House behind me just after 3:00 am Central time on Sunday morning and walked out of his truck, completely nude, wearing a green jacket, armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing two people in the parking lot and then went into the restaurant, killing two others.

He injured four additional people and police say had it not been for one man that they're calling a hero, it could've been much worse. They say that James Shaw Jr. ran to the bathroom when he heard the shot.

And then he says he just kind of decided it's fight or flight. I've got to do something. He tackled the shooter, was able to get the gun away from him, threw it over the counter and pushed him out of the restaurant.

After that, that is when the shooter, police say, walked off into the woods. He hasn't been in Nashville very long. Police here had no interactions with him whatsoever. He moved here in autumn of 2017.

But the summer before in July of 2017 he had a run-in in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secret Service arrested him trying to get into the White House. He said he was a sovereign citizen and that he had a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Now they took him off; they put in kind of a program to get him through that and then let him go. But the FBI and Illinois authorities in his home state visited him, interviewed him and later Illinois revoked his authorization to own a gun.

They confiscated four weapons; they gave them to his father and police now say that his father has acknowledged that he decided to give those four guns back to his son.

One of those weapons, the AR-15, was, police say, used in this particular shooting on Sunday morning. It wasn't the first time, though, that authorities in Illinois had had any sort of run-in with Reinking. They say that he, back in 2016, (INAUDIBLE) shoot himself and he had delusions about the pop star, Taylor Swift, that she was stalking him, that she was trying to tap into his Netflix account and into his phone.

She was with the FBI and his parents ganging up against him. And this is something that they say they were concerned about. Obviously, they are still investigating and trying to figure out what may have led to this event here at the Waffle House.

But again, we have four people dead, four others injured in this shooting -- Dianne Gallagher, Antioch, Tennessee, CNN.


CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. But still to come, is President Trump defending his personal lawyer and so-called fixer, Michael Cohen?

Or is the president sending him a signal to remain loyal?

We will discuss that --


CHURCH: -- with our panel on the other side of the break. Stay with us.





CHURCH: Welcome back, everybody.

The Trump team is hitting back, defending the U.S. president's relationship with his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. This after a report from "The New York Times" suggested Donald Trump has, at times, treated Mr. Cohen poorly.

Earlier CNN asked Kellyanne Conway whether Mr. Trump is worried his so-called fixer could flip on him.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP COUNSELOR: I'm telling you that the president's concern has been for Michael Cohen the way he has been treated and he has said that again and again in tweets and again and again with the cameras rolling, with the media in the Cabinet Room and elsewhere.

And why is that?

Because I see people go on TV constantly who don't know President Trump at all and say he's loyal to no one but himself. That is completely not true. He stands up for people in his inner circle and people he knows when he thinks they're being treated unfairly. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Let's take a closer look at all this with attorney and CNN legal analyst, Areva Martin, and Larry Sabato, director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Welcome to you both.

So we just heard there --


CHURCH: -- from senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, insisting that President Trump is very concerned about the way his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is being treated.

This in response to a "New York Times" report by Maggie Haberman, where she insists Mr. Trump has treated Mr. Cohen like a dog for many years.

Larry Sabato, which version reflects the truth and how will it likely impact what Mr. Cohen does next?

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, I would side with Maggie Haberman. She's an excellent reporter and I'm quite certain she had good sources.

As far as loyalty is concerned, just think of Jeff Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Donald Trump's candidacy, campaigned with him everywhere, became the Attorney General.

I don't think he, President Trump, has been particularly loyal to Jeff Sessions. But it depends on the circumstances.

Is President Trump being loyal to Michael Cohen now?

Well, of course. He doesn't want Cohen to flip. He's trying to send him a message in several ways, as he is sending a message to others that, you stay loyal to me, I'll stay loyal to you and, oh, by the way, I have the pardoning power.

CHURCH: Areva Martin, how likely do you think it is that Mr. Cohen will flip and cooperate with the federal officials who are investigating him?

And if he does that, what might the ramifications be?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, Rosemary, we have to talk about what flipping means. So we have heard that term used a great deal with respect to this story.

And the reality is federal prosecutors are not going to offer Michael Cohen a sweet deal or a lighter sentencing deal unless he has something major to tell them about Donald Trump.

So the way this works is you don't get to come in and just tell these federal prosecutors anything in exchange for a lighter sentence. There has to be something that is going to lead to an indictment or suggestions there has been some kind of criminal conduct on the part of Donald Trump in order to induce federal prosecutors to want to offer Michael Cohen some kind a sweet deal.

So that is the question.

What is it that Donald Trump has done that's criminal, that Michael Cohen knows about, that he can use to induce federal prosecutors to offer him a better deal?

And that's what makes this story so amazing, that we're talking about the President of the United States sending smoke signals to his personal attorney that, I'll pardon you if you don't share information about criminal -- potential criminal conduct that I've been engaged in with federal prosecutors.

Oh, and, by the way, I'm the executive over the Department of Justice and the FBI that has raided your home office and has collected, seized all of these documents from your office. That makes this story really incredible -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Right, it does and according to some White House insiders, Mr. Trump is far more concerned about the ramifications surrounding Michael Cohen and the raid on his home and office than he is about anything former FBI director James Comey is saying in relation to the promotion of his new book.

Larry Sabato, why do you think that might be the case?

SABATO: There are two reasons. First even though Comey's memos were quite enlightening and provided contemporaneous evidence of what Comey had claimed all along, there's not a lot of new material in there that produces headlines and shocks people beyond the original charges.

But Michael Cohen is a very different case. He has been with President Trump, in his former life for many years as well as during the transition and early part of the Trump presidency.

He knows plenty He knows where lots of bodies are buried. If the reports are true, he has tapes or discs of various conversations, documents that may relate to what President Trump has never released to the public about his tax returns.

There all kinds of things that could be there. We don't know whether they are. But now the Mueller team will.

CHURCH: Well, Areva Martin, how potentially damaging is the Michael Cohen case for President Trump, do you think?

And what is the next move for him in terms of possible criminal charges?

MARTIN: Well, it is pretty clear that, given the high bar that the FBI had to meet in order to get the search warrant, to be able to go into Cohen's home and his office, that indictment is likely to be forthcoming.

Could be 30 days, could be 60 days, could be 90. And if we are to read the president's signals correctly, he may issue a pardon immediately. He may not wait for there to be a trial, for there to be an indictment, for there to be a conviction of Michael Cohen.

We know Michael Cohen is in a lot of trouble and we know he is under tremendous pressure with respect to this federal investigation. And also don't forget the civil case, the civil case involving Stormy Daniels' attorney.

That case that was filed in state court in California, which Michael --


MARTIN: -- Cohen and his team removed to federal court; there was a hearing just last week, where Cohen's attorney was asking for a 90-day stay of that case, saying that he can't participate in civil litigation because he may incriminate himself.

And the judge says, wait a minute, you have to make that statement in an affidavit under oath, Mr. Cohen, yourself before I will even consider that argument. So the judge didn't -- he just automatically issue that 90-day stay that Cohen's team was requesting.

So Michael has pressure in this civil case. He's got this federal investigation that is pending so he's got a lot that would cause someone to consider remaining loyal or not.

CHURCH: Yes, and indeed there are a lot of issues that the president is confronting. There has been a lot of chatter about whether President Trump will fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Trump fueling most of that speculation, it has to be said. But over the weekend this is what Trump aide Marc Short had to say about it. Let's listen.

MARC SHORT, TRUMP AIDE: When's he going to fire Rosenstein?

When's he going to fire Mueller?

We have the same conversation. As far as I know the president has no intention of firing these individuals.

CHUCK TODD, NBC HOST (voice-over): Right. But it's always "as far as we know" and the president -- he never says definitively -- why not?


TODD: -- it's not going to happen. This investigation is going to run its course, period, end of story --

SHORT: -- because you know how far off the investigation is going to veer. Right now he has no intention of firing him. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Larry Sabato, Marc Short says as far as he knows, Mr. Trump has no intentions of firing Rosenstein and Mueller, not exactly a resounding "no," is it?

What did you make of Short's answer?

SABATO: Well, Marc is very smooth, he's very smart. I know this because he's a former student of mine. But I listened very carefully to what he said and Chuck Todd in that excerpt there was absolutely on target when he said, "as far as I know."

Well, what does that mean?

And the answer is it means nothing because Donald Trump checks with no one before he issues a tweet, firing somebody in his administration. We will all have to wait and see. I doubt Trump does it because I think it would spark a reaction similar to the one President Nixon experienced after the Saturday night massacre, when he also fired some key people in the Watergate investigation.

I doubt Trump does it but Nixon was a whole lot more predictable than Trump.

CHURCH: Areva Martin, the last word to you, do you sense Mr. Trump has backed off any intention to fire Rosenstein and Mueller?

MARTIN: We know he likes the drama and we know he likes that we're talking about him firing these two individuals and that we're constantly talking about it. And now apparently he's hired Rudy Giuliani to come onto his legal team.

And his job is supposed to be to work with the Mueller's team and try to find out if there is an end to the investigation, what can Trump do to hopefully facilitate an end to the investigation.

I think for the moment, it doesn't appear that he's going to fire either of them. But time will tell and if this investigation drags on, if Michael Cohen is indicted, if other individuals are indicted, I don't think we can rest assured that the president won't take this drastic action of firing perhaps Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein.

CHURCH: A lot to keep an eye on. Areva Martin, Larry Sabato, many thanks to you both for your analysis. We appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here but still to come, a journalist's fatal fall becomes a story of its own. We will show you the strange circumstances surrounding a Russian reporter's death.





CHURCH: Hello again and welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Time to check the headlines for you this hour.


CHURCH: The death of a Russian journalist is raising questions about how he died. Police say there was no foul play in Maxim Borodin's death. However, those who knew him believe it may have something to do with the last story he covered. Nic Robertson went to the scene of Borodin's death and has this report.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): A thousand miles or more east of Moscow is Yekaterinburg, still semi- slumped in its Soviet past.

Among so many other drab, humdrum apartments of that era, this balcony. It seems unremarkable, yet it is not.

ROBERTSON (on camera): In the early hours of April 12th this year, a young, up and coming investigative reporter tipped over the balcony and fell. His neighbors found his body here, crumpled in the street. His death is a mystery.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): In life, Maxim Borodin, on the right, excelled at fun. At work, his intrepid investigative streak brought him acclaim and enemies.

One interview about ultra-royalists, he said, earning him a bang on the head by a thug wielding a metal bar. But it was his recent reporting on Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria that really got him national attention.

Police say they don't see foul play but the night before his fall he called a friend, telling him his apartment was surrounded by security officials wearing camouflage --


ROBERTSON (voice-over): -- asking him to call a lawyer. Shortly after, telling the friend who posted the details to Facebook, it was a false alarm.

ROBERTSON (on camera): None of his neighbors here want to talk about what happened and it's impossible to know precisely what took place that night. But there's a big dent in the dirt, broken twigs on the tree next to it, mud splattered on the wall directly below his balcony.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): At the news agency Novy Den (New Day) where Borodin worked, his colleagues are still struggling to fathom their loss. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He was a great journalist. His investigations, his stories, his interviews always made a big splash among the audience.

Another of Borodin's friends who despite his own difficulties wants us to understand Borodin had so much to live for, not the suicidal type.

ROBERTSON (on camera): A spokesman for the interior ministry tells us that Borodin's apartment was locked from the inside. A fact, he says, that indicates no one left the apartment. Most likely, he says, there were no strangers in there.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The closer you look here, the less the facts seem to add up and the harder it seems to grasp the truth. At New Day, strange things have been happening. They say their Internet traffic from search engines has nosedived in the past few days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): According to our sources -- this is obviously not verified but they are saying that it was a targeted action on someone's order.

ROBERTSON: Of all Borodin's reporting the most sensitive story about Russian mercenaries in Syria goes right to the top. They work for a company called Wagner, linked to oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin who denies any ties, is a target of U.S. sanctions and close friend of President Putin.

But, cautions Borodin's boss, his death may just be a tragic accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This is a journalist's job to uncover things that others would like hide, but that doesn't mean he had enemies who wanted to kill him.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): It feels, not for the first time, a chill is falling across Russia's reporters -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Yekaterinburg, Russia.


CHURCH: Just ahead, they face threats if they dare to speak out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They encourage me not to report. They tell me that I won't have the life I wanted in Japan if I do.

CHURCH (voice-over): Japanese women describe the backlash and stigmas they face when it comes to reporting sexual assault. We're back with that in just a moment.






CHURCH: As the #MeToo movement sweeps around the world, victims of sexual harassment and rape in Japan are speaking out. They say they face legal and cultural challenges when reporting sexual assault. Our Anna Stewart has more now from Tokyo.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I became one of the victims for the first time and experienced how small my voice is.

ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: It's now been three years since Shiori Ito says she was raped by a prominent journalist. They met over dinner in Tokyo while Shiori was an intern looking for work.

She says the last thing she remembers was going to the bathroom feeling dizzy, then waking up in a strange hotel room. She thinks she was drugged.

SHIORI ITO, RAPE VICTIM: I woke up with this intense pain and when I woke up, he was on top of me and penetrating. And that's how I found out. And yes, he was raping me.

STEWART (voice-over): Shiori's alleged attacker denied raping her. He was never arrested and the case was dropped. Shiori says prosecutors cited lack of evidence, despite her claim of CCTV footage, witness statements and DNA supporting her allegations.

We reached out to the prosecutor's office for comment and were told they can't speak about individual cases.

Statistically, Japan appears to have no rapes or sexual assault compared to the U.S. and the U.K. However, only 4 percent of rape victims actually filed a report, according to the cabinet office of the central government so that number is likely to be much higher.

STEWART: Part of the problem is Japan's rape law. A prosecutor has to be able to prove that a rape was either the result of force or violence and the law makes no mention of consent.

STEWART (voice-over): And there's a cultural stigma in Japan when it comes to sexual violence and rape. It's rarely if ever spoken about and often the victim feels ashamed or to blame.

KAZUKO ITO, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Just yesterday I met with a girl who was raped. She is 19 years old and then immediately after she was raped, she reported to police and also to boyfriend, her boyfriend. Her boyfriend blamed her.

STEWART (voice-over): In addition to the shame culture, Shiori says the systems in place failed her.

SHIORI ITO: They encourage you not to report. They told me that I won't have the life I wanted in Japan if I do. STEWART (voice-over): And, she says, the process of reporting rape the police was traumatizing.

SHIORI ITO: The worst part of the investigation was that I had to reenact. I had to lay down on the floor. There was 3-4 male investigators with camera and they placed this (INAUDIBLE) on me and asked to move and take photo.

That was most humiliating experience that I had.

STEWART (voice-over): Japan's rape laws were changed last year. Among other things, it's increased the minimum sentence for rape to five years but many say it's the prosecutions that need to increase.

The government told CNN they are not increasing one-stop support centers across Japan where victims of sexual violence can more easily seek help. Shiori said she spoke out to draw attention to her experience and to help others.

But ever since going public she has faced a backlash on social media.

SHIORI ITO: There were many name I've got, honey trap, prostitute, hooker.

STEWART (voice-over): Shiori's just visiting Tokyo. She left Japan, fearing for her and her family's safety, having broken Japan's silence on rape -- Anna Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.


CHURCH: We want to thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "WORLD SPORT" is up next and then I'll be back with another hour of news from around the world. You're watching CNN.