Japanese companies dropping Johnny & Associates stars from ads

Some Japanese companies have started to review their relationship with a major talent agency whose late founder, Johnny Kitagawa, sexually abused minors. They say they are dropping personalities represented by Johnny & Associates from their advertisements.

Kirin Holdings will stop creating new ads and promotional materials with entertainers under contract to the agency. The food and beverage manufacturer says it will not renew contracts with the agency's performers.

Kirin says it won't do business with the agency until it takes specific steps to compensate the victims, prevent recurrences, and demonstrate sound corporate governance.

Asahi Group Holdings currently uses 23 personalities from the agency to promote four of its products.

It says it won't create new ads and promotions with celebrities connected to Johnny & Associates. And it says it will phase out ads in which they appear. The company says it will not renew existing contracts.

Asahi Group Holdings is urging the talent agency to swiftly implement preventive measures and make amends to the victims.

Japan Airlines will stick to its policy of suspending the use of performers from the agency in its ads.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance is considering terminating contracts with the agency.

The agency had apologized after admitting that its late founder committed acts of sexual misconduct for many years.

It also announced it will work to compensate the victims, and consult with experts to ensure that human rights are respected.