SAPPORO--Education officials here decided to fire a male teacher accused of sexually abusing a female student more than 25 years ago when he taught at a junior high school in Hokkaido.

The city's education board made the decision to dismiss the teacher, who still works at a junior high school in Sapporo, at a meeting on Jan. 28. 

Ikuko Ishida, 43, a photographer and Tokyo resident, has accused the male teacher of sexual abuse.

She said the abuse started in 1993 when she attended a public junior high school in the capital of Hokkaido.

Ishida said shortly before her graduation, the teacher, who taught at the school, started kissing her and touching her body.

The teacher continued to commit other obscene acts against her after she graduated and until she was a second-year university student, she said. 

When she turned 38, Ishida developed a post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2019, she filed a damages suit against the teacher and the Sapporo city government.

Ishida has said that the teacher forced her to believe the abuse was a “romance” but she finally realized that it was sexual abuse.

At a news conference earlier this month, Ishida said she could no longer remain silent while the teacher remained in the classroom. 

“The teacher who sexually abused a student is still working at a school," she said. "And the students are in the dark about it. I can’t stand staying silent anymore.”

In December 2020, the Tokyo High Court in an appellate ruling dismissed her case, citing the statute of limitations had expired. But the court found that Ishida had been sexually abused by the male teacher over the years.

Ishida has since demanded the city’s education board hand the teacher a disciplinary dismissal.

After re-examining the matter, the board concluded that the teacher sexually abused Ishida more than 25 years ago.

The board interviewed the male teacher several times in 2016, when Ishida reported the abuse. But the board did not take action because it said the teacher denied the accusation.

This time, the board decided to follow the high court's decision.