Ex-Johnny & Associates member to set up contact point over alleged sexual abuse

A former member of Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates says he will set up a contact point for people who allege they were sexually abused by its late founder.

Hashida Yasushi spoke to reporters on Friday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.

The 37-year-old actor and dancer is one of the former members who have come forward about alleged sexual misconduct by Johnny Kitagawa, who died in 2019.

Hashida says Kitagawa sexually abused him about a year after he joined the agency in 1998. Hashida was a member for seven years until he was 19.

He said he wants to gather the allegations of other victims and deliver them to the agency.

He also disclosed a plan to launch a petition requesting revisions to the law on preventing child abuse in cooperation with those who say they were victimized.

Hashida stressed that no one should become a victim of sexual abuse, and resolving this issue will help address sexual violence in the entertainment industry and elsewhere.

The agency's current president Julie K. Fujishima offered an apology over the allegations of sexual misconduct on May 14.

Hashida added that he wants the agency to face the problems swiftly, settle its past and make a fresh start.