News On Japan

Japan boyband agency admits founder Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse

TOKYO, Sep 08 (WION) - Julie Fujishima, the boss of Japan's biggest boyband agency, finally stepped down after admitting for the first time on Thursday that its late founder sexually abused young stars. She even apologised to the victims.

Fujishima, niece of the accused music mogul Johnny Kitagawa who died in 2019, said, "Both the agency itself and I myself as a person recognise that sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa took place. I apologise for his victims from the bottom of my heart. I take seriously what happened."

The most powerful talent agency in Japan's pop music industry was headed by Kitagawa, but the scandal, which emerged fully earlier this year, has horrified the country and tainted his image.

The allegations that he abused young men who wanted to be stars surfaced in Japanese media in 1999, but there was nothing concrete until this year after a BBC documentary revealed details.

The 57-year-old Fujishima said she had stepped down effective Tuesday and named singer and actor Noriyuki Higashiyama, a veteran member of the talent agency, as her successor. But she said that she would remain in the agency's leadership to help "compensate" victims. ...continue reading

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