Three former judges have been chosen to lead the attempt to compensate hundreds of victims by Johnny & Associates, the Japanese boys-band production business at the center of an ongoing sexual abuse controversy.
The Tokyo-based agency also stated that it will not deduct its customary percentage from the earnings of its performers for the upcoming year “in an effort to win back public trust,” and all proceeds from performances and other appearances will go directly to the people.
The company, known as Johnny’s, took the moves after admitting last week that Johnny Kitagawa, its late founder and previous head, had raped at least a few hundred teenagers and youngsters over the course of fifty years.
According to a statement from the business, a dedicated website will be created for those who worked for Johnny’s so they can receive compensation. It stated that confidentiality would be maintained and that each person’s individual financial situation would be discussed in detail.
Kitagawa passed away in 2019 and never faced charges.
His niece Julie Keiko Fujishima, who served as Johnny’s top executive until last week, was succeeded by Johnny’s celebrity Noriyuki Higashiyama. Fujishima still serves on the board and owns the entire unlisted business.
As more people come forward to claim they were victims of the once-powerful Kitagawa’s actions, Japan has become alarmed by their scale and methodical nature.
Additionally, Johnny’s reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing governance and appointing a compliance officer for the business.
The business issued a statement saying, “We acknowledge that the late Johnny Kitagawa committed sexual assaults over a sustained period of time, and we sincerely apologize to the victims.” “We promise to make restitution and stop this from happening again.”
Asahi Group Holdings and Suntory Holdings, two Japanese beverage manufacturers, have declared they will no longer use Johnny’s stars in advertisements or promotions. Kao Corp., a chemical and cosmetics manufacturer, was one of the most recent to mention “considerations for people’s various feelings” on Tuesday.
Even though McDonald’s Japan announced that it will no longer use Johnny’s stars in future promotions, the company’s archive of advertising featuring them still exists.
Despite tell-all books and a 2004 decision by the Japanese Supreme Court in favor of the monthly Shukan Bunshun, which Kitagawa had sued for libel, the Japanese mainstream media has come under fire for standing silent.
NHK, a public broadcaster, asked producers why they chose not to cover the subject during a special program this week. They said that they were hesitant because Kitagawa was still at large. One individual said that he had “chosen bread over the pen,” or financial gain above ethical reporting. The enormous popularity of Johnny’s stars generates sponsorship income and successful TV programs.
Nine victims who formed a group this year are want an apology and compensation. On Monday, they traveled to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations to request its support. They visited Parliament as well. The Japanese government has been encouraged to help the attempts to compensate the victims by the U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Following their lessons or backup dancing auditions, Kitagawa habitually raped children, primarily at his opulent home, according to their investigation and the company’s own investigation. One victim said he had 200 rapes.