Former Johnny & Associates members ask for police investigation into staffers

Performers who had belonged to the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates asked police to investigate reported sexual abuse of their colleagues by two former staff members at the agency.

The firm, now named Smile-UP., which is paying compensation to victims of sexual abuses related to Johnny & Associates, acknowledged on its website in March this year that two staff members of the former talent agency had sexually abused young performers. The firm said it had taken strict disciplinary measures against them by September last year.

A group of three men who had previously spoken out about sexual abuse by the agency's late founder Johnny Kitagawa submitted a paper seeking police investigation into these two former staff members.

Two of the accusers visited a police station on Thursday to file their request.

They note there is a possibility that a statute of limitations has not expired on potential cases involving the two staffers, depending on the nature of sexual misconduct committed, and its timing. They said they called on the police to start the investigation as soon as possible.

In response, the police told them that it would be difficult to launch an investigation without complaints from alleged victims or evidence of wrongdoing.

Nakamura Kazuya was one of the three accusers. He told reporters that without a resolution to the sexual abuses by the two staffers, it is a still long way to go to get the whole picture of the scandal involving the former agency.

He said it is frustrating that a police investigation has not begun even after the abuse cases surfaced.

Nakamura said that he will cooperate with the police to help them launch an investigation.

The three men had reportedly sent a request to Smile-UP., asking the agency to provide the police with information regarding the two former staff members.

They also asked the agency to take concrete steps to ensure that former Johnny & Associates performers who have spoken out over sexual abuse by late Johnny Kitagawa do not face defamation, slander or groundless accusation.