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Johnny's decades-long abuse coverup relied on cozy ties with media

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In 2019, the Japan Fair Trade Commission had warned Johnny's over suspicions that it had pressured media networks not to feature former members of idol group SMAP who left the agency following the band's dissolution.

After that Japanese media just followed it, those victim were saved by foreign media, BBC the one that really finally expose this matter.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-66752320

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2SisAVaS-w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaTV5D3kvqE

-7 ( +16 / -23 )

The Japanese media don’t really like scandals of the rich and powerful only the weak and defenseless.

-4 ( +28 / -32 )

The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun in 1999 later published a series detailing accusations that several boys had been abused and sexually exploited. Kitagawa, who was never charged with any crimes on the basis of the allegations, sued the Shukan Bunshun and was awarded damages.

While American tabloids are publishing articles about alien autopsies and conspiracy theories, bravo to Shukan Bunshun for being the few and the proud to expose this issue as well as LDP-Moonie connections and the many organized crime ties of politicians. In a just world they would receive lavish funding from some fairy godmother.

Too bad the mass media and political class in Japan are so adept at marginalizing them and consigning their scoops to the memory hole.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

It is quite customary in Japan to turn one's back on issues concerning 'higher ups'. Whether it is media or every day jobs and life, the tendency is to turn a blind eye when concerning bad behavior by someone in charge.

There are Japanese companies run as 'one man'...top dog's word is everything...no matter if that person is completely off the rails. far too often.

Johnny Kitagawa is a symptom, not the cause of societal woes, as the president of his company who committed criminal behavior, and most all of Japan didn't want to make waves, including the court system.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

shouganai, ne.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

"Self-censorship is rampant in Japan. ..."

'Nuff said.

This is the oxygen of corruption that keeps undemocratic systems alive and allows powerful individuals to thrive untouched and to feather their filthy nests.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The media should NOT get a free pass on this.

There has to be a real investigation - PARTICULARLY of NHK and how much they actually knew.

The Japanese media don’t really like scandals of the rich and powerful only the weak and defenseless.

Japanese society is generally like this. That's where the bullying culture comes from.

-10 ( +19 / -29 )

Talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc has set up an independent victim relief panel made up of three former judges who will determine the amount of compensation to be paid as it assesses the claims of alleged victims.

I believe there is still the need to fully investigate the serious nature of these sexual assaults from an official statutory body.

Numerous media broadcasters have reported, forums, an example Japan Today has run articles for commentators to air views etc, the soul searching has begun and Johnny & Associates Inc has accepted full liability.

View the article in the below ……It is one step down

UK comedian Russell Brand accused of sexual assault

Can the same urgency from the BBC, that is the same BBC that so righteously brought to the media attentions the alleged criminal behaviour of Johnny Kitagawa.

Yet today the BBC has denied any knowledge of Russell Brand alleged misconduct when Bland was contracted to BBC radio 2 when prompted to do so.

I find that grossly hypocritical.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Is there a version of this BBC documentary that has English subtitles, all the ones I find online have Japanese??

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Roblib

Is there a version of this BBC documentary that has English subtitles, all the ones I find online have Japanese??

On Apple TV, Prime and also Roku, they have that one.

Just look for Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop

10 ( +10 / -0 )

BBC紀錄片《獵食者:日本流行音樂的秘密醜聞》- BBC News 中文

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmF6mDZjZZw&t=1s

J subs with English audio ....Best I can find

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is absolutely shameful.

It’s not the least surprising nor is it as shocking as it should be, but it is just appalling.

Heads must roll in the news industry AND the larger TV companies who so obviously leaned on the news rooms to self-censor.

It’s not political, but this level of News organization self-censorship is not conducive to liberal democracy.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japanese media will burn at the stake a celebrity who got busted for smoking weed in their own home, a victimless crime no less, but then turn a blind eye to this shameful crime for decades. There won't be any changes, it will be the same.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

But the question remains: how was he able to get away with it for so long?

This isnt a "question", it's an excuse! The media KNEW and covered it up! Plain and simple,

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can the same urgency from the BBC, that is the same BBC that so righteously brought to the media attentions the alleged criminal behaviour of Johnny Kitagawa.

Yet today the BBC has denied any knowledge of Russell Brand alleged misconduct when Bland was contracted to BBC radio 2 when prompted to do so.

I find that grossly hypocritical.

I don't get your anger at BBC on this. Johnny was an ugly man who created a talent agency for young boy and he used his power over them for pedophilia and sexual assault.

Russell Brand, at his height, was a very popular guy who was admired by women. We don't know how much truth there is to either side of the accusation's.

If he's guilty, I'm pretty sure the BBC will report it, but as is, I don't see the correlation of investigation by the BBC on Johnny's manipulation of his agency to easily be a predator to young boys who would either be thrown out or had to do sexual acts for Kitagawa being anything close to Brand's charisma possibly having the women who accuse him, actually consenting to be in his presence. The idea the BBC is grossly hypocritical makes no sense to me.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Thank you Sakurasuki I'll check Prime

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What? What did Johnny Kitakawa do? For decades?

And only now ? Becoming known ? For doing what ?

OMG!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is the real story. Every country tries to control or suppress freedom of the press to different degrees. Took an assassination to dig into the Abe-san scandals.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I knew he was a pedophile the first time I aw the program. Therefore, it is very strange than nobody else noticed!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The Japanese media are 100% complicit in this horrid child abuse. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And the elephant in the room….still no mention of a criminal investigation ?? I don’t think it was just the media that enabled Johnny the pedophile to thrive for so long !

And still no mention of the female agencies who ran Morning musume, AKB48 etc side of things I am sure that is even worse than the johnnys saga!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The media here puts the ones who have no real power, like Becky and girls from idol groups, under the microscope and will rake them over the coals for the most minor of infractions. They kiss the rear ends of powerful people like Kitazawa for decades and turn a blind eye to their hideous violations then, later, when it's all out in the open, speak about trying to do better. They need to be seen in the same light as Kitazawa and Johnny's.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Today’s mainstream media are no longer about reporting facts and sharing gathered information. They are about keeping their narrative protected.

It’s much easier to control an uninformed and compliant public.

But censorship is no longer effective, as critical thinkers will always research, and do the job journalists used to do...

It’s too bad those ambitious young singers had to bear this abuse without anywhere to turn.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

However this is handled, the careers of the boys should not be ruined.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It seems like police agencies also practiced self-censorship, having refused to investigate Kitagawa and his agency for decades. Or, more likely, they were instructed not to investigate. But, by whom? That is the big question.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Paul

I knew he was a pedophile the first time I aw the program.

Which program? The BBC one that said he was a pedophile?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And don’t forget the parents’ role in this by introducing a child into that world and handing over guardianship like powers to these agencies.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Corruption runs deep in Japan.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

dagonToday  07:01 am JST

The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun in 1999 later published a series detailing accusations that several boys had been abused and sexually exploited. Kitagawa, who was never charged with any crimes on the basis of the allegations, sued the Shukan Bunshun and was awarded damages.

While American tabloids are publishing articles about alien autopsies and conspiracy theories, bravo to Shukan Bunshun for being the few and the proud to expose this issue as well as LDP-Moonie connections and the many organized crime ties of politicians. In a just world they would receive lavish funding from some fairy godmother.

Too bad the mass media and political class in Japan are so adept at marginalizing them and consigning their scoops to the memory hole

From what I've seen of the J-pop industry, it's exploitative and quite disgusting to begin with. The West has had that rotten lip-synching 'pop tart' industry for nearly 30 years now starting with those dumb Spice Girls. Those 'stars' become more famous for their stupidity offstage then their manufactured 'music' and they're 'here today, gone tomorrow'.

sunfunbunToday  07:13 am JST

It is quite customary in Japan to turn one's back on issues concerning 'higher ups'. Whether it is media or every day jobs and life, the tendency is to turn a blind eye when concerning bad behavior by someone in charge.

There are Japanese companies run as 'one man'...top dog's word is everything...no matter if that person is completely off the rails. far too often.

Johnny Kitagawa is a symptom, not the cause of societal woes,

 Johnny Kitagawa seems to be a Japanese 'R Kelly'. Kelly has talent and can write a good song when he wants to but look at his track record. His first wife was 15, and he got away with a lot of sick abuses for way too long until karma finally caught up with him last year.

And there's a lot of sexual abuse of men and women in the US military that's been under the rug for too long. When a huge Air Force scandal erupted during the previous decade, then Pres. 'Mr.-Nice-Guy' Barack Obama was PISSED. He's not a veteran but he's smart enough to know that an environment of rape and fear is toxic. Men have also been sexually assaulted in university athletics as well. My Ohio State University threw a football game to Pennsylvania some years ago as a gesture of solidarity and they did so to its rivals Michigan University last year because of a long suppressed scandal had erupted there. Ohio State has also been plagued by this too for a long time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

After its press conference, Johnny's announced it has set up an independent victim relief panel made up of three former judges who will determine the amount of compensation to be paid....................blah blah blah...........The relief panel should be made up by independent responsible people, with NO ties to the judiciary, NO ties to the entertainment industries and certainly NO ties with any government or former government officials. I would offer my services if they paid for my plane ticket and board and lodging (I don't want some fancy hotel) and I will buy my own food. I have no ties to any of the above nor do I want any, and if they think I can be bribed, yeah, just try it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Media and journalism here is done the same way as Japanese customs, don't stick out and say and do what ever makes the people around you feel comfortable, even if you have to lie. Not a shocker that they don't go after the bothersome cases. Being able to sue for slander and win even when what is said is true doesn't help.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"A third-party body set up by the agency to investigate the scandal said in a report in August that it believed Japanese media refrained from reporting the allegations out of fear they would no longer be able to secure appearances by talent represented by Johnny's, as the firm is widely known."

Japan in a nutshell, plus the part about the sexual abuser being awarded damages when one finally did report it. Now is the media's chance to make amends, but I suspect instead they'll retreat into the usual cowardice.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Looks like Japan is having its first REAL Harvey Weinstein moment. The rabbit hole is deeper than that though. You see, in order to be primed and ready for such abuse, we have to start at a young age. We have to start with schools that use children for their own promotion.

We are training them to do whatever is asked of them without question.

This is a good thing though. So let's keep going. We have many more people to investigate.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Including Kyodo and NHK.

journalism in Japan is pretty much a joke

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Looks like Japan is having its first REAL Harvey Weinstein moment

As with the Ghosn case, Japan's problems are not exposed by the Japanese, it takes foreign intervention to expose this island country to admit their faults.

Even then, most Japanese want to enable their culture, While some will understand they should be open to criticism and need change, inevitably, they are incapable of openly understanding their faults to the point of taking responsibility as a society, and not just blaming one bad apple.

The blame game and lack of responsibility is very much a part of this society.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

sunfunbun: "As with the Ghosn case, Japan's problems are not exposed by the Japanese, it takes foreign intervention to expose this island country to admit their faults."

Bingo! But as with such cases, if it gets a little too intense, to the point where they need to change, they will just say "It's domestic matter! You can't understand! We don't need your comments (after asking for their praise)", etc. They won't change, they'll only dig the grave deeper.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

If some one knows that a crime has been committed and goes out of there way to cover it up, surly they are as guilty as the offender, they are complicit in a crime and turning a blind eye or going out of there way to cover it up you would ay they are just as guilty to perverting the course of law, may be the police should be arresting some of the media companies bosses and reporters, it would seem that there is a possibility of some brown bags were handed out, the police need to look at a few bank accounts.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Here's what they can do: Until the Japanese media fully owns up, accepts responsibility, cuts ALL ties with Johnny's (even if they change their name!), and fires all responsible for the coverups, other countries do not allow any Japanese media to cover their sports, news, or anything else. I mean, why allow rapist-supporters to cover your news?

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

The name should be changed from johnny’s and associates to scum bag entertainment. See how many clients they keep.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Let's face it, anyone in the entertainment business, whether in Japan or abroad has sucked someone off to get a role.

The casting couch is as old as the industry.

So if you wanted the cushy famous lifestyle back in the day, you had better pucker up those cheeks, because here comes uncle Johnny.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Sunfunbun,

The fact is, I have not explained a complex and perhaps unnecessary comparison between Johnny Kitagawa, Russell Brand, the BBC exposé of Kitagawa clearly. Or Russell Brand contractual obligations to BBC Radio 2, in a manner that could bring clarity without causing confusion.

From your comment I may have blurred the lines further.

At present Russell Brand has not been convicted of any of the allegations levelled against him. And deserves the full presumption of innocence afforded to him by law.

Secondly Johnny & Associates Inc has excepted full liability for the late Johnny Kitagawa predator behavior's.

My rather clumsy reference to the BBC coverage of both, has given the incorrect impression that the BBC favors' one over the other.

On my first review and reflection I felt that the BBC senior management was hypocritical in the manner and style of presenting/coverage of what I considered to display similar behavioral traits.

A somewhat over and incorrect simplification after a more careful and studied evaluation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@itsonlyrocknroll. Thanks for the post. I get it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So you are telling me that the media, big business, and politicians are all completely selfserving and corrupt. NO WAY

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not only this issue, Japan's major media prioritize vested interest or business or consideration to authority than journalism or human rights or the lives, and had avoided even mentioning many issues such as problematic nuclear policy or LDP-Unification Church collusion or poverty or inequality or Covid19 measures misstep or defective "my number" system or Olympic2020 or Expo2025. 

And they wasted opportunity who prevent to deteriorate situation as same as Johnny Kitagawa issue.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Junya Hiramoto, 57, was one of the first talents once represented by the agency to expose sexual abuse by Kitagawa, publishing a book in 1996 that detailed his experiences of being touched and forced to engage in sex acts with the pop mogul.

The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun in 1999 later published a series detailing accusations that several boys had been abused and sexually exploited.

I remember seeing this on the news and remember it being covered by the weekly tabloids at the time.

I also remember the deafening silence of it as it was swept under the rug when I heard that "Johnny" secretly made it known that if any major station reported more on this, they would no longer have any of the cute dancing boys on their stations or shows in the future.

The media knew all about this. They should be blasted for this. NOW they're finally finding their moral high ground and distancing themselves from Johnnys'? Lame.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

jimmy savile , rolf harris , gary glitter all worked for or on bbc programs over many years and were warned about their preferences countless times but nothing was done for a long time . The bbc might have brought this story about johnnys to the fore but their hands are not clean

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapanToday  01:55 pm JST

Here's what they can do: Until the Japanese media fully owns up, accepts responsibility, cuts ALL ties with Johnny's (even if they change their name!), and fires all responsible for the coverups, other countries do not allow any Japanese media to cover their sports, news, or anything else. I mean, why allow rapist-supporters to cover your news?

It would be very interesting to hear from any of those thirteen people who apparently disagree with you. They shouldn't be shy about airing their views, and perhaps explain why they aren't condoning the sexual abuse of minors even though they appear to be.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For being complicit, who in the J-media should step down too

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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