More Japanese firms reviewing ad contracts with Johnny & Associates

An increasing number of Japanese companies are reviewing their relationships with a major talent agency, Johnny & Associates, due to a sexual abuse scandal involving the firm's late founder.

Johnny & Associates admitted on Thursday that its founder Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused many minors over a long period of time.

Beverage maker Suntory Holdings says it has decided not to sign a new contract with the agency. Suntory has asked the agency to come up with a plan to support victims and prevent recurrences. It says it will only sign a new contract, if the agency draws up a satisfactory plan. The beverage maker says it made the request in writing on Monday. Suntory also says it asked the agency to strengthen corporate governance.

Nissan Motor says, for the time being, it will not use performers from Johnny & Associates for sales promotion activities, including new advertisements. The automaker says abuse is against one of its corporate policies. The policy requires respect for human rights.

Nissan says it will review its decision, if the talent agency implements preventive measures.

Nippon Life Insurance has also decided not to sign a new ad contract with the agency.

Two major Japanese beverage makers, Kirin Holdings and Asahi Group Holdings, earlier announced that they would stop creating new ads with entertainers under contract with the agency.