Johnny & Associates announce they’ll expand scope of external investigation following ex-manager’s sexual abuse admission

The sexual abuse scandal surrounding Johnny & Associates founder Johnny Kitagawa was back in the news recently due to an admission by an anonymous former manager of Johnny’s Jr. that he was also involved in sexual abuse. That has prompted has a response by Johnny & Associates, saying they’ll be expanding the scope of the external investigation team looking into the matter from just Kitagawa to the former manager as well.

Japan’s male talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc., mired in allegations of sexual abuse by its late founder, said Friday that an external investigation team will also probe into alleged similar abuses by a former male staff member after a magazine report of his sexual assaults.
In a widening scandal at one of Japan’s most influential entertainment agencies, the team, initially tasked with investigating alleged cases involving the founder Johnny Kitagawa, will look into a former agent who took charge of Johnny’s Jr., a talent pool of male idols in training.

Johnny & Associates said in May that it would set up an external special probe team to look into alleged sexual abuse by the founder and compile measures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents. The agency has said that it will take appropriate measures based on proposals by the team members such as a former prosecutor general, a psychiatrist and a practicing clinical psychologist.

It’s only reasonable to be skeptical of both the willingness to be thorough and the actual independence of this special external investigation team set up by Johnny’s, but nevertheless, I’m interested in what they come back with.

Perhaps just as notable, given the company’s relative silence as the scandal has deepened and victims have continued to come forward, is that J&A spoke out about this in an official statement. While there are understandable fears that Johnny’s are basically just waiting and hoping this will blow over, for now the matter seems to be deepening, and hopefully at the bare minimum there’s regulations and standards put into place to minimize the risk of this happening going forward, even if it’s too late for the victims to truly get justice.


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