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Two more sexual predators at Johnny’s, says Higashiyama  | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


A sexual abuse scandal that has been rocking Japan’s entertainment industry didn’t stop at the late pop impresario Johnny Kitagawa, according to the man tasked with paying compensation to victims.

Noriyuki Higashiyama, the president of Smile-Up Inc., the successor to talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc., told the British Broadcasting Corp. he knew of two other sexual perpetrators at the agency.

On March 28, the BBC released a digest video and an article ahead of a program to be aired March 30. The video includes footage from a solo interview with Higashiyama in February.

In a news release issued the same day, Smile-Up Inc. said disciplinary action was taken against the two staff members by the end of last September.

The action was taken in accordance with relevant laws and the company’s internal rules, the statement said.

However, Smile-Up did not contact the authorities to provide information on the two staff members.

From a legal standpoint, I dont think we have the authority to do that, Higashiyama said. But if those involved file a criminal complaint, I imagine we would cooperate as much as possible.

A report released last August by a third-party investigating the scope of the scandal that goes back decades and involves hundreds of victims noted that there were two other sexual predators at the agency.

Higashiyama pledged to “take a firm response” in further investigating the allegations during a news conference last September.

As a famed boy band producer, Johnny Kitagawa was one of the most powerful figures in the Japanese showbiz world. 

Kitagawa died in 2019 at the age of 87. He was never held criminally accountable for his actions.

Following the BBC documentary Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop aired in March last year, the Kitagawa scandal exploded in Japan. Rumors of Kitagawa’s sexual preferences were an open secret but were never investigated and had received minimal media coverage.

Johnny & Associates was renamed Smile-Up in October, with a focus on compensating Kitagawa’s victims.

If they have new information, they should make it public themselves, said Shimon Ishimaru, 56, vice representative of the Johnny’s Sexual Assault Victims Association, after learning of the BBC report.

They seem to be only disclosing information that is convenient for them,” Ishimaru added. “It feels like they have gone back to their old ways.”

Smile-Up has not held a news conference with a question-and-answer session since Oct. 2. It was later revealed that a blacklist of journalists was created to handle reporters who ask difficult questions.

The BBC’s interest in the story, aside from its obvious news value, can be explained by a scandal that rocked Britain over historic allegations of child sex abuse involving television personality Jimmy Saville after his death.

(This article was written by Yusuke Miyata and Amane Shimazaki.)





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