NHK issues statement following Johnny & Associates news conference

NHK has issued a statement following a news conference by Johnny & Associates in which the talent agency admitted sexual abuse by its late founder.

The statement says NHK takes seriously that heinous sexual abuse of minors took place for many years at a company with which the broadcaster has long-term business relations.

It cites a report by the agency's investigative team that says lack of criticism from media deprived Johnny & Associates of an opportunity to clean its own house and helped it continue its cover-up, resulting in more victims.

NHK also says in the statement that it did not fully acknowledge the matter despite various weekly magazine articles about sexual abuse allegations and a ruling by the Tokyo High Court that acknowledged the abuse was finalized in 2004.

The statement adds that NHK failed to look deeper into the problem and report it in news or other programs.

It says NHK regrets that it did not fulfill its role as a media outlet while many minors were victimized.

NHK vows in the statement to reinforce its policy on information-gathering and program production and dig deeper into the truth.

In response to a call urging NHK not to use talent from Johnny & Associates, the statement says the broadcaster has used performers who best fit program content and production, but will now pay more attention to whether agencies respect human rights.

The statement says NHK will hear from Johnny & Associates in detail about the agency's relief measures for victims and its plan to prevent a recurrence, and closely watch how they are implemented.
It says that as a public media outlet, NHK will work harder to ensure that human rights are more respected in the broadcasting industry.