Johnny & Associates to hold news conference about sexual abuse allegations

Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates will hold a news conference on September 7 after a report by a third-party panel said that its founder and former president sexually abused minors for many years.

This will be the first news conference by Johnny & Associates since a number of men came forward recently with allegations of sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa when they were minors. Kitagawa died in 2019.

The report released by the expert panel on Tuesday was based on interviews with about two dozen victims. The report said the team confirmed that Kitagawa for years sexually abused a large number of boys, mostly backup dancers known as Johnny's Juniors who were waiting to make their debuts.

The report determined that the sexual abuse was allowed to continue for so long in part because Johnny & Associates is a family-run business. It said the founder of this type of company can become untouchable and nobody else can stop him or her if they commit illegal acts.

The report recommended that the current president, Julie K. Fujishima, a niece of Johnny Kitagawa, should step down to allow the agency to make a new start.

In the upcoming news conference, the agency is expected to explain what kind of measures it plans to take to prevent a recurrence, as well as a program to compensate the victims.

Whether Fujishima will announce her resignation is another matter of interest.