U.N. Human Rights Council Looks Into Sex Abuse Claims Against Johnny’s Talent Agency – News

Council’s working group to interview former company members to formulate suggestions

The Kyodo information service reported on Wednesday {that a} United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Business and Human Rights will start an investigation of the allegations of sexual abuse in opposition to expertise company Johnny & Associates’ late founder Johnny Kitagawa someday between late July to early August.

The working group will interview former Johnny & Associates members concerning the allegations, and also will interview members of the Japanese authorities and different companies, after which it’s going to submit a report back to the U.N. Human Rights Council that will probably be used to supply suggestions to Japan in July subsequent 12 months.

Last month, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida introduced that he would maintain a ministerial assembly to deal with the subject of kid sexual abuse, within the wake of the allegations. Meanwhile, in the identical month, inner investigations by Johnny & Associates concerning the alleged abuse, spearheaded by former prosecutor Makoto Hayashi, introduced its precedence to deal with grievances from victims by offering suggestions to stop additional abuse, as an alternative of specializing in compensation or discovering fault or criminality. Julie Keiko Fujishima, the present president of Johnny’s, launched a video in May by which she “categorical[ed] a deep apology to those that say they’re victims” of sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa, promising administration reforms sooner or later.

Recent Allegations

On March 7, the BBC released an hour-lengthy documentary titled Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop, which detailed “a protracted historical past of allegations of sexual abuse, made by boys in [Kitagawa’s] company” and why “the Japanese media remained largely silent.”

On April 12, Kauan Okamoto, a Japanese-Brazilian singer and songwriter, held a press convention and claimed Kitagawa abused him about 15 to twenty instances between 2012-2016 when he was nonetheless a member of the company, and stated he knew not less than three different individuals who had additionally been abused. Okamoto acknowledged within the convention, “I hope everybody will come ahead as a result of it’s an outrageous variety of victims.” Okamoto was part of the backup boys’ group Johnny’s Jr.

After Okamoto’s press convention, a bunch of followers and idols held a press convention on May 11 stating that they had despatched a petition to Johnny & Associates calling on the corporate to apologize and launch an investigation. The group had collected 16,125 names since posting the petition on Change.org on April 19.

Kitagawa’s Death and Past Allegations

Kitagawa handed away at 87 in July 2019 because of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (a type of stroke). Fujishima then turned the present president in September 2019.

Kitagawa based Johnny & Associates in 1962 after establishing the male idol group Johnnys. Johnny & Associates went on to ascertain and handle many male idol teams resembling SMAP, Arashi, Tokio, KinKi Kids, V6, KAT-TUN, and Hey! Say! JUMP. The members of idol teams below the administration of Johnny & Associates are collectively often known as “Johnny’s.”

Kitagawa beforehand confronted allegations of sexual misconduct throughout his profession. The Shukan Bunshun journal printed 14-week expose in 1999 detailing accusations of kid abuse and sexual exploitation. However, the accusations by no means resulted in formal felony expenses. Kitagawa and Johnny & Associates sued the journal, and the journal misplaced the primary trial in March 2002. However, the journal successfully gained its Tokyo High Court attraction in July 2003. The High Court’s determination acknowledged the alleged victims’ testimonies have been “typically constant” and “particular, frank, and detailed.” The determination additionally acknowledged Kitagawa had “no concrete counterargument or rebuttal proof.”

Source: Kyodo through Hachima Kikō

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