A Japanese diplomat posted in California has been charged with
domestic violence against his wife and could face up to 20 years
in jail, the local district attorney said Tuesday.
Yoshiaki Nagaya, vice-consul at Japan's consulate in San Francisco,
is accused of 17 felony offenses, 14 of domestic violence and three
of assault, including stabbing her with a screwdriver and knocking
a tooth out.
The 32-year-old pled not guilty in court on Monday, and was released
on bail of $350,000, said San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen
Wagstaffe, adding that the alleged offenses occurred between January
2011 and March 2012.
"The violence ranged (from) pushing and shoving, and bruising
upwards (to) the most serious, (when) he knocked a tooth out. On
another occasion he jabbed her or stabbed her in the hand with a
"On another occasion he knocked her down and stomped on her
with his foot. The final occasion was when he shoved her out of
a car in their parking garage, causing scrapes to her face and knees."
He added: "That was when she decided that enough was enough,
and she went to the police."
Nagaya does not have diplomatic immunity for the alleged offenses.
"There is immunity, but not when you're doing things in your
purely private life, for somebody at his level," said Wagstaffe.
Both Nagaya and his wife are due back in court on June 14 for a
preliminary hearing. A restraining order was issued, barring the
diplomat from having any contact with his wife in the meantime.
Michio Harada, the deputy consul general at Japan's Consulate General
in San Francisco, said Nagaya remained on the staff pending developments
or a decision from Tokyo.
"If those charges are true it would be quite regrettable, certainly,
but we would like to see how the court proceedings develop and then
the final outcome," he told the reporters.
The consulate general was not providing legal support. "This
is not related to our official work, it's a private thing, so I
understand he has his own lawyer for a criminal case."
Regarding Nagaya's job, he added: "The decision is mostly made
by Tokyo but at this moment I don't think we can do anything. He
is with us now. He's not in the office, but he works for us."