Opposition lawmaker seeks amendment to child abuse law in Japan

A senior official of Japan's largest opposition party says he will seek a revision to the child abuse prevention law. This comes after sexual misconduct allegations emerged against the late founder of a major talent agency.

Diet affairs chief of the Constitutional Democratic Party Azumi Jun made the remarks at a party meeting on Wednesday.

Johnny Kitagawa founded Johnny & Associates in 1962 and produced some of J-pop's biggest boybands. He died in 2019.

Kitagawa is accused of sexual misconduct on multiple former members including musician Kauan Okamoto who held a news conference in April.

On Tuesday, Okamoto and another alleged victim attended a CDP meeting. They called on the lawmakers to enact legislation to prevent such sexual abuses from recurring.

Azumi said the talent agency still has a large influence on media organizations, but it is not socially permissible that it had crossed the red line.

He said such victims should be given a helping hand. He said he will seek a non-partisan bill to amend the law during the current Diet session that ends in June.

Justice Minister Saito Ken told a Lower House committee that he wanted to refrain from commenting on the issues as a minister.

But he added that generally speaking, sexual misconduct is a malicious and serious crime that hugely impairs the dignity of its victims and continues to cause heavy physical and mental pain for many years. He said such misconduct should be severely punished.