Social Issues

Japanese talent agency victim demands steps to end abuse

Tokyo, Sep 8 (EFE).- A Japanese singer of Brazilian origin said steps must be taken so that the largest talent agency in Japan compensates victims of sexual abuse committed by its late founder.

Kauan Okamoto said Friday that Johnny & Associates must take concrete steps to prevent the events from reoccurring and help those who suffered while at the company.

“The fact that they have gone so far as to recognize what happened is very important, but there are still many details to be resolved,” Okamoto said at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

The young musician, who had already told his case in April – becoming one of the first victims to speak publicly recently – said he welcomed the Thursday recognition by the company that founder Johnny Kitagawa abused underage applicants for decades.

“This recognition is very significant,” Okamoto said visibly moved, adding that he is not yet in talks with the talent agency about the possible financial or psychological support he may receive for the damages suffered.

Okamoto joined Johnny & Associates in 2012 aged 15 to become a musical idol and was there until 2016, years in which he claimed to suffer 20 instances of abuse and witnessed many others toward his colleagues.

The artist said in April how the agency’s minors accepted the abuse since they knew that, otherwise, they would have to give up their careers as musicians or actors and how Kitagawa himself sometimes compensated them financially after these acts.

The press conference comes a day after the agency publicly acknowledged for the first time the commission of abuse and its current president, niece of the now deceased magnate, announced her resignation before the revelations.

A recent internal investigation concluded that abuses were frequent from the founding of Johnny’s in the 1960s until the mid-last decade, and although they did not give an exact number of cases or victims of Kitagawa, the group of experts spoke of ” multiple acts.”

Kitagawa (1931-2019) was a well-known producer and agent revered in the country for creating a formula for stardom that is still used in the K-Pop and J-Pop industries in South Korea and Japan, attracting young people. and training them until their eventual debut. EFE


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