Talent agency chief meets victim of Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse

A man who has come forward as a victim of sexual abuse by the founder of Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates says he has met its new president and received an apology from him.

Sources say this is the first such meeting since Higashiyama Noriyuki took over as the company's new president earlier this month. They also say he began talks toward compensation and how to prevent recurrences.

Hashida Yasushi belonged to the agency as a performer for seven years from 1998 until leaving at the age of 19. He is one of those who say they were sexually abused by Johnny Kitagawa as minors.

Hashida, who is now in his late 30s, said in a social media post on Thursday that he talked with Higashiyama earlier in the day. He added that the president apologized for the anguish he experienced.

The agency launched an online form to collect testimonies of sexual abuse by Kitagawa, who died in 2019 at the age of 87. It also established a committee of three lawyers to examine the accounts and to assess appropriate amounts of compensation.

The agency plans to announce its new management policies on October 2.

Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230922_02/