TOKYO — The Japanese boys-band manufacturing firm on the middle of an unfolding sexual abuse scandal, Johnny & Associates, selected three former judges Wednesday to go its effort to compensate a whole bunch of victims.
The Tokyo-based company additionally stated it is not going to take its traditional minimize from its performers’ earnings for the following yr “in an effort to win again public belief,” and all the cash for exhibits and different appearances will go to the people.
The actions come after Johnny’s, as the corporate is thought, acknowledged final week that Johnny Kitagawa, its late founder and former chief, had sexually assaulted a minimum of a number of hundred teenagers and kids over half a century.
A particular on-line web site shall be arrange for individuals who labored below Johnny’s to allow them to be financially compensated, the corporate stated in an announcement. Privateness shall be protected, and the financial quantity shall be labored out in direct talks with every particular person, it stated.
Kitagawa died in 2019 and was by no means charged.
Julie Keiko Fujishima, his niece, stepped down as chief executive of Johnny’s final week and was changed by Noriyuki Higashiyama, a Johnny’s star. Fujishima stays on the board and owns 100% of the unlisted firm.
Japan has been shaken by the scope and systematic nature of the once-powerful Kitagawa’s acts, as extra folks come ahead to say they had been victimized.
Johnny’s additionally reiterated its promise to strengthen governance and appoint a compliance officer within the firm.
“We acknowledge that the late Johnny Kitagawa carried out sexual assaults over an extended interval, and we apologize to the victims from the underside of our hearts,” the corporate stated. “We vow to hold out compensation and forestall a recurrence.”
Varied Japanese firms, together with beverage makers Asahi Group Holdings and Suntory Holdings, have announced they will no longer use Johnny’s stars in adverts or promotions. Among the many newest was Kao Corp., a chemical and cosmetics firm, which cited “concerns for folks’s varied emotions” on Tuesday.
McDonald’s Japan has additionally stated it’s going to cease utilizing Johnny’s stars in future offers, however previous adverts that includes them remained on its official web site.
Japanese mainstream media have come below assault for remaining silent, regardless of tell-all books and a Japanese Supreme Court docket ruling in 2004 in favor of the weekly Shukan Bunshun, which Kitagawa had sued for libel.
Public broadcaster NHK did a particular program this week asking producers at the moment why they didn’t cowl the story. They stated that they had hesitated as a result of Kitagawa had not been arrested. One particular person acknowledged he had “chosen bread over the pen,” which means he had chosen cash over journalistic integrity. Johnny’s stars are extraordinarily widespread, resulting in sponsorship income and hit TV exhibits.
A group of nine victims arrange this yr is demanding an apology and compensation. They went to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations on Monday to ask for its backing. They’ve additionally gone to Parliament.
The U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights has urged the Japanese authorities to assist the compensation efforts. Its investigation, as well as the company’s own probe, discovered Kitagawa routinely molested youngsters, principally at his luxurious house, after they auditioned as backup dancers or took classes. One sufferer stated he was raped 200 occasions.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama