Buddhist nun calls for expulsion of 2 monks over sexual assault

A Japanese Buddhist nun has filed an application with the Tendai Buddhist sect to strip two monks of their priesthood status. She says one of them sexually assaulted her for more than 10 years.

The nun, who goes by the name Eicho, held a news conference in Tokyo with her lawyer on Wednesday. The woman in her 50s lives in the Shikoku region in western Japan.

Eicho said the chief priest of a Tendai Buddhist temple in Shikoku sexually assaulted her multiple times from 2009 through 2023. She said he threatened her saying, "If you defy me, you will fall into hell."

The nun said one of her relatives in his 80s, who was the priest of the highest order, referred her to the chief priest of the temple.

She said she told her relative about the sexual assaults by the chief priest, but he did nothing to help her.

Eicho said she filed a criminal complaint against the chief priest in 2019 for sexual assault, but says he was not indicted.

She said monks are supposed to guide people, but the chief priest destroyed her personality and his sin is significant. She said she hopes the Tendai sect will punish the two monks appropriately.

The chief priest told NHK that he has no comment at the moment. The office of the Tendai sect says it cannot comment now, as its officials are discussing how to respond to the matter.