No artists from ex-Johnny & Associates agency to appear on 'Kohaku' music show

Japanese public broadcaster NHK has announced the lineup for its annual New Year's Eve live music show. No performers from the talent agency previously called Johnny & Associates will be included because of the sexual abuse allegations against the agency's late founder.

NHK announced on Monday that 44 singers and groups will appear in the 74th "Kohaku Utagassen," or Red-and-White Year-end Song Festival.

Ishikawa Sayuri will make her 46th appearance. Go Hiromi will mark his 36th.

Last year, six groups from the agency formerly known as Johnny & Associates, which has renamed itself Smile-Up., were chosen.
This is the first time since 1979 that performers from the agency will not appear in the show.

NHK says the lineup was decided in accordance with its policy that it will not sign new contracts with the agency until NHK can confirm the agency has paid compensation to the victims of sexual abuse and implemented preventive measures.

NHK previously announced it had drawn up and was complying with its first guidelines on respecting human rights for people in the production of the Year-end Song Festival.

The guidelines call for eliminating sexual exploitation or abuse and not tolerating malicious harassment, discriminatory or aggressive behavior.

They also call for respecting children's human rights and rejecting child labor or child abuse.

NHK has asked management agencies of performers to agree to the guidelines.

"Kohaku Utagassen" will be held at NHK Hall in Tokyo on December 31.

The show will be broadcast live from 7:20 p.m. on NHK's General TV channel, BS Premium 4K and BS 8K satellite channels and Radio 1. It will also be shown on internet service NHK plus.