The abuse that a Japanese embassy official inflicted upon his wife while they lived in San Francisco and San Bruno allegedly centers on accusations that the official had a relationship with another woman, according to testimony in court today.
Yoshiaki Nagaya, 33, the vice consul for Japan in the country's embassy in San Francisco, appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court this morning for a preliminary hearing stemming from . Nagaya, who was wearing a suit and glasses for most of the hearing, was arrested in May in San Bruno and charged with 14 counts of domestic violence.
The courtroom was filled with reporters and a Japanese TV news crew.
Nagaya's wife, Yuka Nagaya, was the first witness called during the hearing, and a prosecutor began questioning her about the alleged domestic violence.
Through a Japanese interpreter, Yuka Nagaya said that she began suspecting that Yoshiaki Nagaya was having a relationship with a fellow foreign ministry worker one month before they were married in April 2010.
When she saw a photo of the woman on her husband's cell phone one night, she confronted him, she told the court.
"Were you concerned that Yoshiaki had a relationship with the woman?" the prosecutor asked.
"That's what I thought, and I asked him about it," the wife said through an interpreter. "But he denied it."
"Were you arguing about it on March 24?" the prosecutor asked, referring to the night when the argument ensued.
"Yes," the wife said.
Yuka Nagaya then recounted how she locked herself in her bedroom while the embassy official was taking a bath so that she could look through his phone. The official allegedly got upset with her and opened the bedroom door with a screwdriver, she said. They began fighting over his cell phone, she said, and then he pushed her before "poking" her with a screwdriver, causing her to bleed.
According to the district attorney's office, Nagaya stabbed his wife in the hand with a screwdriver and commited other domestic violence over their 18-month marriage, including knocking out her tooth, stomping on her and pushing her out of a car.
But just as the prosecutor continued with the questioning, the Japanese interpeter who was helping Yuka Nagaya began having problems with the translation.
After some back-and-forth between the embassy official's attorney and the court, the interpreter quit mid-hearing, saying he was too tired to continue after driving from Los Angeles.
Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak, who was overseeing the hearing, has called a recess until this afternoon.