Review by media sought on response to sexual abuse by late Johnny Kitagawa

A Japanese group has called on domestic media organizations to jointly conduct a review on the media's silence regarding the sexual abuse by the late founder of a powerful talent agency.

The group, which studies social issues, made the request with regard to the abuse of talents by Johnny Kitagawa, the former head of the agency previously called Johnny & Associates.

The agency admitted to the abuse in September, saying it had continued for many years. A team of legal and sexual abuse experts set up by the agency said the media's silence on the issue had played a role.

In a news conference on Wednesday, the group expressed concern about the reviews and investigations launched by TV stations into the matter, saying they are inadequate and their methods have been varied.

The group said it will send a request to NHK, the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association, the Japan Magazine Publishers Association and other media organizations to conduct a cross-sectional investigation.

To improve the health of the overall entertainment industry, the group is calling for the examination to go beyond the scope of the former Johnny & Associates. It is also requesting that the investigation explores whether there was any pressure from the agency or if media outlets made any attempts to gain favors.

The group proposes the use of a standardized questionnaire created by each industrial organization.
It also requests that the replies be compiled and analyzed by a third party, and the results be released by each sector.

The head of the group, Ogiue Chiki, acknowledged that media outlets have started reviews, but pointed out that it has not led to concrete measures to prevent a recurrence. He added that further investigations and reviews are required, and that the outlets' attitudes and actions on addressing the matter are being questioned.