While I wish I had a positive update on the Johnny Kitagawa sexual abuse scandal, unfortunately a member of Johnny’s Sexual Assault Victims Association (JSAVA) in his mid-40s passed away in mid-October, which is just being reported now. Authorities are investigating the death as a suicide.
According to investigators, the man, an Osaka resident, was found … in the mountains in Minoh in the prefecture in mid-October and was later confirmed dead. What appeared to be his suicide note was found nearby.
The report says that the victim was being attacked online after coming forward about his sexual assault, with stuff like being accused of lying for the sake of money and having people claiming their (the victims) lies will be exposed soon. Other members of the association have also said they’ve been targeted, with some saying they filed police reports over it.
The victims’ association said its members have received slanderous comments such as “you are a compulsive liar” or “you didn’t even make a debut” through social media. Some members have filed criminal complaints and damage reports with the police as a result.
Notably, victims Kauan Okamoto and Hashida Yasushi spoke up about the death.
Nothing really left to say about Johnny Kitagawa’s crimes and how he continues to victimize people, but this kind of news certainly doesn’t make it hard to wonder why many victims didn’t want to come forward over the years. Yet even decades later, it doesn’t matter if it’s been an open secret or if the company completely admits to it, nothing is ever good enough proof for some people, and many netizens have been all too willing to want to just move past this and/or participate in the harassment themselves.
Granted, the idols currently under the new unnamed company themselves are a much more complicated issue due to them being potential victims as well, and most importantly because even Johnny’s victims do not want them to be blacklisted or anything like that. However, the naivety of those who believe that SMILE-UP (or the new unnamed company) shouldn’t be criticized because they have rooted out all the bad apples and have turned a new leaf — due to them doing the bare minimum public relations to salvage their brand — is laughable. They absolutely should still be subject to criticism for their roles in the scandal, be under pressure to make things as right as they can, and be closely scrutinized. They don’t just get to wash their hands of it cause Johnny’s dead, then be all happy/snarky about it, and hope people forget.
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