Victims of alleged Johnny Kitagawa sex abuse apply for human rights relief

A group of alleged victims of sexual misconduct by the late founder of leading Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates has applied to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations for human rights relief.

Nine men lodged applications with the JFBA on Monday. They say last Thursday, the agency acknowledged for the first time that Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused minors for many years and pledged to compensate his victims.

But they say it is unclear how each victim will be identified and how relief will be provided.

The group called on the JFBA to guide the agency as it identifies victims, helps to heal their mental scars and draws up measures to prevent recurrences.

Representative of the group Hiramoto Junya told reporters the victims now feel that their prospects are somewhat brighter. But he added that in reality, they have not been acknowledged as victims, nor have they received a direct apology. He said this must be the first step.

Johnny & Associates released a comment to NHK, saying it will engage in sincere dialogue with the people who have come forward.

The agency also says it plans to swiftly address a number of issues, including specific compensation and how to rebuild corporate governance.