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Males alleging abuse at Japanese expertise company are interviewed by firm investigators

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TOKYO — Two males who say they have been sexually abused as youngsters by a Japanese leisure mogul have been interviewed Monday by a particular crew arrange by the expertise company to look into the allegations.

Junya Hiramoto and Shimon Ishimaru, each former members of a boys’ dance-and-song group referred to as Johnny’s Junior, stated they nonetheless need an apology and compensation from Johnny & Associates.

“They haven’t admitted something, they usually haven’t apologized,” Hiramoto informed reporters after the interviews.

“We want a peaceable decision. There is no such thing as a level in taking the bloody, contentious route of preventing it out with hatred.”

The 2 are amongst a few dozen males who’ve alleged sexual abuse by the company’s founder, Johnny Kitagawa. They are saying they have been abused at his Tokyo luxurious mansion in addition to at different locations, corresponding to his automotive and abroad resorts, whereas performing as teenagers.

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Kitagawa, who died in 2019, was by no means charged.

Earlier this month, the U.N. Working Group on Enterprise and Human Rights urged the Japanese authorities to take motion on the abuse at Johnny & Associates, noting the victims numbered not less than a number of hundred, and accusing Japan’s mainstream media of what it referred to as “a cover-up” by staying silent. A full report is to be introduced to the U.N. Human Rights Council subsequent June.

The separate crew conducting the interviews Monday was arrange by Johnny & Associates. It’s to offer its findings to the corporate later this month. Johnny & Associates has solely commented in on-line statements, and the way it will reply to the crew’s findings stays to be seen.

In response to a request for remark by The Related Press, Johnny & Associates stated all issues are being handled by the investigative crew. The corporate has promised an announcement on the investigation later this month.

The Related Press doesn’t often establish individuals who say they have been sexually assaulted, however Kitagawa’s latest accusers determined to be named publicly in information accounts.

After a BBC documentary about Kitagawa aired this yr, musician Kauan Okamoto spoke in April on the Overseas Correspondents’ Membership in Tokyo, the primary individual in many years to make such allegations utilizing his actual title.

A brand new accuser, Yukihiro Oshima, a Johnny’s Junior member for 2 years beginning in 1998, spoke out on Monday.

“For 23 years, I’ve tried my finest to reside life with a deep scar in my coronary heart,” he stated.

Oshima and different victims stated they didn’t perceive what was taking place at first. They stated they simply wish to put a cease to such crimes, not solely within the leisure trade however in Japanese society as a complete.

Japan lags different developed nations in defending the rights of youngsters in addition to folks focused by sexual predators. Public opinion additionally tends to be unsympathetic, and males who’ve spoken up in opposition to Johnny & Associates have been ridiculed and harassed on-line.

“We hope the corporate will come to the desk to speak collectively about compensation. We’re ready to persevere,” Ishimaru stated.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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