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Johnny & Associates

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Headquarter of Johnny & Associates

Johnny & Associates (ジャニーズ事務所, janīzu jimusho in Japanese) is a well-known talent agent in Japan. The company was established in 1963 by Johnny Kitagawa. It accepts and trains talented boys and promotes their debuts to the entertainment industry. Although Johnny & Associates once accepted female idol candidates in 1980s, it now only takes boys as its candidates.

Starting with group name "Johnnys" in 1962, Johnny & Associates has debuted over 20 groups so far. It has currently more than 10 groups actively participating in the entertainment industry. The most famous groups of today include SMAP (since 1991), TOKIO (1994), V6 (1996), Kinki Kids (1997), Arashi (1999), Tackey and Tsubasa (2001), NewS (2003), Kanjani∞ (2005), KAT-TUN (2006), and Hey! Say! JUMP (2007). Johnny & Associates has been introducing a new idol group almost every other year, and in 2009, Nakayama Yuma with B.I. Shadow made its debut in June.

Sexual Assault allegations

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Kitagawa created Johnny & Associates in the early 1960s. It has been shown that Kitagawa had sexually assaulted many of the boys since the early days of the company.[1] If the boys agreed to the sexual attempts by Kitagawa , they were able to perform for the company. If they refused, they were refused the ability to perform.[1]

In civil trials held in the 1970s, obscene acts were suggested but the boys denied anything was happening. .It was said the that people had been accused of harm or had almost been harmed.[2] Some former members of the group (Koji Kita(北公次),[3] Junya Hiramoto(平本淳也)[4]) published books that included information about boys being raped. In 1999, the magazine Shukan Bunshun reported about people claiming there was sexual abuse by Kitagawa.[5]

With the exception of Shukan Bunshun, no other Japanese media covered this subject. [6][7] Law enforcement in Japan also took no actions.

During this time, it was known that an employee of Johnny & Associates had often had oral sex with some of the boys. Sexual assault at the office was being seen as the norm. [8][9]

Johnny Kitagawa died in 2019 without being arrested or charged with any crime.[10][11]

In 2022. Kauan Okamoto(カウアン・オカモト) appeared on GaaSyy's Youtube channel.

Okamoto had belonged to Johnny & Associates. He talked about how he was a victim of assault while he was at Johnny's.[12]

On March 7, 2023, the British broadcaster BBC broadcasted a documentary titled Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop. This is about sexual assault by Kitagawa.[13][14]

On April 12, 2023, Kauan Okamoto held a press conference.[15][16] He said that from the time started working at Johnny's Entertainment, at the age of 15, until he left the company, he was abused twenty times by Kitagawa.[15] After this press conference, NHK reported on the abuse on April 13. This was the first television report on Kitagawa's sexual assault by a Japanese media. It was only broadcast for two minutes at 4 p.m. At that time of day, there were very few people watching television.[17]

People from the United Nations Human Rights Council came to Japan in late July 2023. They investigated the situation from late July 2023 until early August 2023.[18] On August 4, 2023, They said that there was boys rape at Johnny & Associates. They also said that the Japanese media had said nothing about this for decades.,[19][20]

Johnny & Associates were a powerful part of the Japanese entertainment industry for a long time. The company had been pressuring the media to report positively on the company, the performers and Kitagawa, They were not to report negatively.[21][22]

Johnny & Associates was a typical family-run company. From 1980 until Kitagawa's death in 2019, Kitagawa and his sister Mary Kitagawa(メリー喜多川) each owned half the stock of the company. Because they were the only shareholders, there was no one to comment about how the company was run.[23] When Kitagawa died, Mary Kitagawa's daughter, Julie Keiko Fujishima(藤島ジュリー景子), became president of the company. She gained both her mother and her uncles shares. . She could have investigated Kitagawa's actions but chose not to.[23]

Reaction and influence

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  • On September 7, 2023, Johnny & Associates held a press conference.[24][25] Julie Keiko Fujishima, president of the company, took responsibility. She also retired as president, Noriyuki Higashiyama, a Johnny's talent, became president.[24] Fujishima remained as representative director. She no longer runs th company does hold all the stocks in the company.[24] The company has said that it will not change the name, Johnny & Associates.[26]
  • Some companies that use Johnny & Associates talents in their commercials have said they will no longer do this. These include Tokio Marine Nichido,[27] Japan Airlines[27] and Asahi Group Holdings.[27]
  • After press conference for Johnny & Associates, NHK and five major commercial networks of Japan said that they will still use Johnny & Associates talents.[28] They included Nippon TV, TV Asahi, TBS, TV Tokyo and Fuji Television.[29]
  • At the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Japan's ambassadors are Johnny & Associates talents. France has criticized the use of Johnny & Associates talent.[30]
  • Among Johnny's fans, there were comments such as "If you're a fan, you know this fact" and "That's what the entertainment world is like", acknowledging child rape and denying reporting it[31][source?]. And, they attacked on social media against Kauan Okamoto, who talked about to boys rape[32][dead link].
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  1. 1.0 1.1 Investigation Report (Publication Version)”(Japanese). Johnny's Office (August 29, 2023). Accessed September 3, 2023.
  2. 金子侑輝、石田健 (2023-04-14). "ジャニー喜多川氏に向けられた具体的な性加害疑惑 = 約60年にわたる証言の歴史". The HEADLINE. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  3. "Hikaru Genji e "(光GENJIへ) series (1988 - 1989, 3 books in total)
  4. "Johnny's no subete"(ジャニーズのすべて) series (1998, 3 books in total)
  5. Oaten, James; Asada, Yumi (2023-03-11). "J-pop mogul Johnny Kitagawa was accused of sexually assaulting young boys in his care, but even in death, he was protected". ABC. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  6. Mark D. West (September 15, 2008). Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle: The Rules of Scandal in Japan and the United States. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-89408-9
  7. "Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse: Japan's worst kept secret". BBC News.
  8. "「ジャニー氏以外にも、ジャニーズ事務所の社員による性加害があることが確認」再発防止チーム". Archived from the original on 2023-09-05. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  9. "「6人くらいと…」ジャニーズ事務所・男性マネージャーもジュニアに性加害していた<本人告白>". 文春オンライン. 2023-06-07. Retrieved 2023-06-07.
  10. "Celebrities mourn death of Johnny Kitagawa at Tokyo Dome memorial event". The Japan Times. 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  11. "Celebrities bid farewell to late Johnny Kitagawa". NHK World-Japan. 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  12. ジャニー氏性加害告発の発端、ガーシー容疑者の捜査は後回し?”. @nifty News
  13. Daly, Rhian (2023-03-07). "Johnny Kitagawa: J-pop founder who faced decades of sexual abuse allegations". Rolling Stone UK. Retrieved 2023-03-12.
  14. "Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse: Japan's worst kept secret". BBC News.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Johnny Kitagawa: Ex-pop star Kauan Okamoto details sexual abuse by famed producer”. BBC News. Accessed on April 13, 2023.
  16. Kauan Okamoto's press conference video - YouTube(KYODO NEWS, Released on April 12, 2023)
  17. SAKISIRU編集部 (2023-04-14). "NHK、ジャニー喜多川元社長「性加害」報道も夕方枠のみ。「アリバイ作り」疑う声も". SAKISIRU. Archived from the original on 2023-10-18. Retrieved 2023-04-30.
  18. U.N. experts to probe Johnny Kitagawa's alleged abuse in Japan - The Japan Times
  19. "U.N. Experts Question Probes into Johnny's Sexual Abuse". 時事通信ニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  20. "U.N. group says people abused by late Japanese boy band producer deserve apologies and compensation". AP News. 2023-08-04. Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  21. Mark Schilling (2019-07-18). "Johnny Kitagawa: Power, Abuse, and the Japanese Media Omerta". Variety. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  22. St. Michel, Patrick (2019-07-10). "Johnny Kitagawa: The mogul who defined and controlled Japan's entertainment industry". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  23. 23.0 23.1 特別チーム 2023, pp. 46–47.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Head of top talent agency quits after admitting abuse - Asahi shimbun
  25. 東山紀之新社長「ジャニーズ」屋号は継続の意向 ネット賛否「名前変えて再出発した方が」「残してほしい」 - Sponichi Annex 2023年9月7日
  26. 【速報】ジャニーズ事務所の社名は変更せず 「イメージを払拭するよう努力」
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Tokio Marine considers ending ad contract with Johnny's - The Japan Times. September 8, 2023
  28. 在京キー局が「マスメディアの沈黙」について姿勢示す…ジャニーズ事務所の会見受け声明を発表【各局全文コメント】2023年9月7日 スポーツ報知
  29. TV stations in Japan respond to Johnny & Associates Press Conference - nantejapan
  30. French newspaper criticizes Sho Sakurai’s appointment as Japan national rugby team ambassador in response to Johnny’s sexual assault issue | East Sports WEB Archived 2023-11-05 at the Wayback Machine - Japan Post English
  31. "ジャニー喜多川氏「ジャニーズJr.と性交あった」発言の波紋ーー暴露本『光GENJIへ』から続く告発の歴史". サイゾーウーマン. 2021-01-05. Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  32. "櫻井翔「憶測」発言で急増 "ジャニーズ性加害"告発者に相次ぐファンの攻撃〈死ねよ〉〈嘘つき〉". 2023-06-14. Retrieved 2023-06-18.