NHK comments on media role over sexual abuse allegations at Johnny & Associates

NHK says it is taking to heart criticism toward the media industry's approach to addressing allegations of sexual abuse at one of Japan's top talent agencies, Johnny & Associates.

An external panel released a report on Tuesday about its investigations into the agency's founder and former president, Johnny Kitagawa, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The report concluded that Kitagawa had sexually abused minors extensively and repeatedly. Kitagawa died in 2019.

The panel also noted that media outlets seemingly refrained from reporting on the matter due to concerns that the agency may withhold access to its popular artists and talents for appearances on their platforms. Experts say that may have helped the agency to continue its cover-up.

NHK released a statement saying that it takes seriously the points raised in the investigative report. The statement emphasized that the broadcaster remains steadfast in its stance of never condoning sexual violence.

NHK says it will urge Johnny & Associates to provide support for alleged victims and to take measures to prevent a recurrence. The statement added that NHK will monitor the implementation of these efforts and act in accordance with the principles of upholding human rights.