By Le Figaro with AFP
The current president of Johnny and ociates offered these “sincere” apologies in a press release published this Sunday evening. Japanese-Brazilian singer Kauan Okamoto accused Johnny Kitagawa of touching.
Japan’s leading pop talent agency has apologized after ault allegations were leveled against its founder Johnny Kitagawanow deceased, while fans demanded this Monday, May 15 that the company conduct a “thorough investigationon the case. Last month, Japanese-Brazilian singer Kauan Okamoto said he was repeatedly touched by Johnny Kitagawa, who set up entertainment empire Johnny and ociates.
Kauan Okamoto claimed that Kitagawa, who died of a stroke aged 87 in 2019, aulted him during his four years with the agency, until 2016, from the 15 years old. He is one of the few to publicly address the star designer’s history of ly abusing young boys, a controversy that has resurfaced after a recent BBC documentary. Johnny Kitagawa was never charged on these charges.
“I absolutely do not tolerate these acts”
Julie Fujishima, Kitagawa’s niece and current president of Johnny and ociates, addressed the issue in a video and written statement released Sunday evening. In the video, she apologizes “sincerefor problems caused by accusations. “Obviously we don’t think there was no problem. As a company and as an individual, I absolutely do not condone these acts.the statement reads, referring to the documentary and Kauan Okamoto’s testimony.
“It is not easy for us to simply state for ourselves whether individual allegations can be acknowledged as facts or not, while we cannot confirm them with the individual directly concerned, Johnny Kitagawa.“, she wrote. “It’s not the kind of circumstance where you can make up for it by saying “I did not know”. But the truth is I didn’t know thatadded Julie Fujishima, a longtime executive at the agency.
A fan group called Penlight said on Monday that the company’s decision to post statements online, rather than hold a press conference, left many questions unanswered. “We call on the company to fully investigate and acknowledge the facts, take responsibility as a company and apologize to the victims of violence“said the ociation. Johnny Kitagawa started his talent agency in the 1960s and formed famous J-pop groups like SMAP, TOKIO and Arashi.