TOKYO — A crew investigating sexual assault allegations by the late founding father of a robust expertise company for boy bands has discovered the fees credible, calling Tuesday for compensation for the victims and the resignation of the present chief government.
The three-month probe, which included talking with 23 victims, concluded that Johnny Kitagawa sexually assaulted and abused boys way back to the Nineteen Fifties and focused no less than a number of hundred individuals.
The investigative panel mentioned Johnny & Associates should apologize, strengthen compliance measures and educate its ranks about human rights. Julie Keiko Fujishima, the chief government, should resign for not taking motion through the years, in line with the particular crew. Kitagawa died in 2019 and was by no means charged.
“The corporate’s coverup led to the sexual abuse persevering with unchecked for thus lengthy,” investigative crew chief Makoto Hayashi advised reporters in Tokyo. “There have been many alternatives to take motion.”
Critics say what occurred at Johnny’s, because the Tokyo-based firm is understood, highlights Japan’s lagging consciousness about rape, sexual harassment and human rights. Public opinion has typically been unsympathetic towards individuals who say they had been focused by sexual predators.
Within the Johnny’s case, a couple of dozen males have come ahead in current months to allege sexual abuse by Kitagawa, the company’s founder, whereas performing as teenagers. Extra persons are anticipated to come back ahead, the report mentioned.
Fujishima has to date solely apologized in a quick on-line video for “disappointment and worries ” over the case. It’s unclear whether or not she is going to resign.
Whereas rumors of abuse at Johnny’s circulated through the years and a number of other tell-all books have been revealed, Japan’s mainstream media remained silent.
Critical questions resurfaced this 12 months after BBC Information produced a particular phase centered on a number of individuals who claimed to be Kitagawa’s victims.
One other turning level got here earlier this month when the U.N. Working Group on Enterprise and Human Rights urged the Japanese authorities to take motion. The group additionally accused Japan’s mainstream media of what it referred to as “a cover-up.”
In line with the allegations, Kitagawa requested fledgling singers and dancers, a lot of them youngsters, to remain at his luxurious residence. When he advised one among them to go to mattress early, everybody knew it was “your flip,” those that have spoken up advised the panel.
The boys had been raped by Kitagawa after they had been 14 or 15 and given 10,000 yen (about $100) payments afterward, the report mentioned. It added that the victims feared they’d be penalized in the event that they refused.
It recommends extra individuals come ahead, guarantees that their privateness will likely be protected and that no materials proof of a sexual assault will likely be required.
Those that have spoken out say they’ve been painfully traumatized, unable to inform anybody, even household, and nonetheless endure flashbacks and melancholy, the report mentioned.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama