Japan Today

Former teen idol alleges sex abuse by Japan music mogul

By Tomohiro OSAKI

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That documentary from BBC has finally started the ball rolling. Johnny’s won’t even acknowledge the claims which feels a lot like they know and want to just ignore until it goes away.

37 ( +41 / -4 )

Allegations of child abuse and sexual exploitation have surrounded Kitagawa for years, but accusers have mostly remained anonymous.

It was around the time that Kimura Takuya was "allowed" to get married that the rumors were getting louder, and one other SMAP member, forget his name, got arrested for running around a park or somewhere, at night, naked.

They held so much power over these boys and men it was unbelievable and it's sad that it had to wait until after the culprit (alleged) died for it to get press coverage.

The media here is also to blame for brushing the rumors under the table and not publishing anything!

28 ( +37 / -9 )

Here it is! I always thought Johnny was gay. With all those half naked feminine young boys!!!

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

Letting young boys stay at an older man’s apartment, why?

27 ( +28 / -1 )

But I also believe what Johnny did -- performing sex acts on me when I was 15 -- and to the other juniors, was a bad thing."

Understatement of the year. It's called RAPE, and I hope you get the support and help you deserve too.

31 ( +34 / -3 )

The media here is also to blame for brushing the rumors under the table and not publishing anything!

Meaning mainstream media and more importantly the talking head variety shows and news.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Another Jimmy Savile.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

Plus one to badmoon. Fake anything disgusts me and makes me wonder the motive for it all.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Johnny was a despicable, sick and perverted individual - as are all those covering up for him. The "parents" who allowed their children to sleep over at his compound were just as guilty.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

We know this the BBC just did an investigation on him and they had interviews with victims. The company couldn’t even be bothered to talk to the reporter. The man was a peodophile, and was actually found to have guilty in a civil case but after that the police couldn’t be bothered opening criminal case. Another untouchable Japanese jimmy saville and Gary Glitter, and Rolf Harris. Oh they all knew, and they are guilty by ignoring their duty to protect young vulnerable boys from his power. I believe a member of his family runs the business now. The power they had over tv channel’s and their fear of having groups being withheld, helped perpetuated his crimes. Such was his power.

25 ( +29 / -4 )

In Japan is everywhere but Japanese tend to be quite.

Former teen idol alleges sex abuse by Japan music mogul

In military


In Politics


-9 ( +10 / -19 )

The TV executives and producers who were all so desperate to have his acts on their ghastly shows are all complicit in this.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Oh they all knew

Everybody knew, but so many people were making so much money from Johnny's acts they just looked the other way.

Kitagawa was awarded damages for defamation following the reports but the verdict was partially overturned on appeal, with the court ruling the magazine had sufficient reason to publish the allegations, according to Kyodo News.

All three court cases, particularly the final one, were largely ignored by the mainstream media. The complicity of the Japanese media in Kitagawa's long term abuse of the teenage boys in his care is disgraceful.

Kitagawa, however, was never criminally charged.

Because he knew where the bodies were buried.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Very common situation in that world industry of the boy bands..

11 ( +16 / -5 )

What sickens me nearly as much as this gutter scum is that parents must have known and still allowed their children to go to his house! A bit like the Michael Jackson episodes. All propagated by a corrupt media and business system in Japan!

20 ( +24 / -4 )

The obligation to report child abuse (teenage sexual abuse) is the same for physical, neglect or emotional abuse. Failure to report by the complicit accomplices looking the other way can, should be and is punishable by law.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Tell me something I don’t know.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Alfie NoakesToday  07:38 am JST

"Kitagawa, however, was never criminally charged."

Because he knew where the bodies were buried.

I'm sure he could have just pointed fingers at a lot of important people and asked why they did nothing if they knew all about it, e.g. police and prosecutors who probably just decided it would be "too much trouble."

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Really, Paul? A gay man in the music industry. I’m shocked. All you took away from this is that Johnny was gay? Child molester, pedophile, sexual predator, didn’t pop up in your mind first?

18 ( +23 / -5 )

I worked as a photographer and found the entire Japanese entertainment system appalling. Johnny's jimushou was just one cog in the industry of enabling, as other agencies definitely had a strange organizational vibe, from top down.

In fact, the entertainment industry as a whole...from how things were done in film, music, the stars, the talentos...it's all so seedy and cheap. It's all about connections and how to be subservient to people, which is essentially the Johnny's let him do whatever abuses he wants with his boys, to a degree, everywhere.

It really isn't just Johnny Kitagawa. He is a symbolic symptom. The real disease is it's the business model in Japan that allows for abuses and ultimately the culture of bullying and ignoring dire issues while not allowing for confrontation...very yakuza-ish...which is the true problem.

Japan needs to wake up to their cultural problems, but it's enabled by people who like being subservient and believe in her ways, and there are a lot of people like that. So, while Johnny's will get a slap on the hand, they will all go their merry way, and this type of abuse will continue on.

I do commend Okamoto for speaking up. It is a given, though, that being a star entertainer in Japan is not really glamorous and I'd never recommend a parent to have a child go through the Japanese entertainment industry, regardless of fame or fortune. It's worse than being a Kardashian, imo. Much, worse, actually.

5 ( +24 / -19 )

Which also begs the next question, what is going on with all the pubescent girl groups?

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I had two sons that were both employed at Johnny's. It was a well-known secret that he was systematically sexually abusing young boys...My wife and I pulled both sons out of his group after learning this. Nobody took any action at all against this abuser as he controlled the young music scene for decades.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

I will be very surprised if this story is mentioned on TV.

Johnny's is famous for threatening TV networks with withholding their "talent" if anything unduly negative is said about it or its idols. The legendary (and late) gossip reporter Masaru Nashimoto brought up this fact on Asahi TV in the mid 2000s and was promptly expelled from his regular slot on the show. He was basically never seen again on TV.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

You gotta get all the media coverage you need to make in life people!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Suspected this for decades but was awed by the extent of Kitagawa's power/wealth that could keep it under wraps for so long.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The British had their Jimmy, the Japanese their Johnny and, as a result of cultural differences, neither were "Weinsteined". Savile's headstone with its cynical epitaph ("it was good while it lasted") was later removed and used as landfill. Will some use be found for Kitagawa's?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more to be uncovered here in Japan when it comes to the media, film, photography, and all the rest.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Foistering boy bands on the world (well, Japan) also needs to be addressed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Over 2 decades ago when the defamation case was held, I read some pretty sordid accounts from young victims - of course only printed in the weeklies. I was gobsmacked. Boys telling of being raped and nothing done or not even investigated.

Mainstream wouldn't touch it at all. Why?

Well J doesn't just produce pop singers, it's a complete entertainment inc. Most of the tv variety shows, dramas, wide shows, commercials etc etc all have "tarento" supplied by J.

They have intimate relationships with other industry giants like Dentsu etc. Touch J and you'll find your business - tv and print - will quickly feel the pain.

And when the slime J died, the grovelling acts of the "privileged" community - including the likes of Abe & Co - at before, during and after his funeral was sickening.

Here, a criminal in any society, was being elevated to some god-like status.

The Australian ABC did a follow up of the BBC documentary interviewing the directors and another follow up this week. Can see on you tube.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

NOT SURPRISED at all, it comes with the territory.

This entire so called IDOL scam is nothing but a phony business for the fashion and Porn industry.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Always knew he was the Japanese Jimmy Savile. Without the fake marathon running.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Gee, it's about time. My Japanese friends have known and told me about this since the 80s.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Kitagawa, however, was never criminally charged.

The cognitive dissonance between J and foreign media is pretty telling.

Hopefully, it will initia

2 ( +4 / -2 )

initiate a paradigm shift and see changes in Japan's crony capitalist business arrangements. One can only hope.

Post was cut off and no edit function so natch.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Mainstream TV channels at Japan continue to ignore this issue by self-censorship.

Moreover, they hesitate also criticizing political and economical "mogul" such as ruling party or large corporations, not only "Johnny".

2 ( +12 / -10 )

How is the word "rape" not even in this article, when it is clear that's what happened?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Nice to see JT doesn't give him a name til paragraph three. Guess he's not the important one here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


It all comes as I repeat often to the Daimiyo/peasant system.

Remember Japanese never had their revolution. They were asked by the USA suddenly to turn from a medieval system to a democracy. Still undergoing the process...and not accepting hence the everywhere censorship and only external pressure to provoke potentially changes.

Media disonance indeed when you see how obedient everyone is in that country to his boss.

Okamoto is brave but accepts the fact he is gay since he accepted to get sex with Johnny for suceeding in his career and do not wish Johny to be considered as a criminal in fact. He just wishes it would not happen in the future anymore !

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Hopefully social media can step up here and bring sufficient attention to this.

Established media will not do so because it implicates them.

It's an example of why we need diverse media, not media controlled a privileged and connected few.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posthumously ruining this guy would do wonders for how pedophilia and child-abuse is perceived in Japan. More coverage please.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It’s crazy how well know this is and has been for decades but everyone and the victims even have a “well I was able to have some measure of success in my life despite this”

Like no, your a victim of a crime, there is not bright side to it. Nothing will get done if even the child victims take the mentality of “it was wrong I know… but kinda not that bad as time went on” even the general public has the attitude of “well you get to be a part of a famous agency so can you really complain about assaults “

I know Japan in particular doesn’t like talking ill of the dead, even if they were pretty messed up, but call a spade a spade here. Dude was a pedo stop trying to give the “well he wasn’t that bad of one” narrative just because he was rich

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kitagawa perpetrated abuses against both his charges and, frankly, against music.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wow, someone finally found the balls to come out publically and acknowledged what has been suspected for years. Hope this serves as a first of many young people sexually abused by these predatory and 'above the law' talent jimushos. Watch the floodgates open. Karmas about to be on show. Was just watching the Harvey Weinstein series on netflix last night and my wife was saying Japan also has some dirty little secrets just waiting to be unleashed. Nice timing.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Supposedly it goes all the back to when Go Hiromi was getting his start. Rich Pervs getting their kicks

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wasn't this always well known?

Just pushed aside and ignored like a lot of other "dirty little not so secret things" Japanese society tries to cover up?

Trillions of yen has been made and trillions more are going to be made. In Japan, nothing is bigger than money. If a few people get run over, so be it, right?

All these "idols" young or old, knew what they were getting into. It's the same on the female side. Or almost any "dirty" business. Take it, or get out.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The boss is dead, what can you do?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Johnny and his nefarious homosexual predations was well known and ignored by both the japanese public and media for decades.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The singer said there was a "general awareness" among the boys under Kitagawa's management that rejecting his advances would hurt their chances of success, though the mogul never explicitly said so.

Kitagawa's words carried such decision-making power that "some juniors even said, 'you have to be at his place to succeed,'" Okamoto added.

If everyone knew about it then it's the parents who are to blame the most.

Or all the while this was happening everyone and their parents only learned when they were assaulted?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I always wonder what the parents of the kids going to that talent agency are thinking. It's impossible that they ignore the rumors going back for decades.

Is it fame and money so important?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Watch the BBC documentary if you’ve got a VPN or live in the UK.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Show Business"...it's the same, all around the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Typical Japan. Ignore, look the other way, suppress etc..

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Johnny Kitagawa, could well be Harvey Weinstein, the late Jimmy Savile, Jeffrey Epstein, if fact every known predator who weaponized an unassailable position of authority to wallow in a pit of depravity unchallenged.

Kauan Okamoto, shows great courage to publicly, in many respects call out the idol industry.

I hope Kauan Okamoto experiences of being continuously assaulted bring about change and just maybe compensation from the late Johnny Kitagawa estate.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The courage of Okamoto is commendable. I do feel the motive of his coming out is truly the desire to warn many new young people who only see a good side of becoming a star.

Japan is a sad country where truth can't seemingly be heard and acknowledged.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yet again, it takes external forces (BBC, ABC in this case) to catalyse social change in Japan.

Dont hold your breath.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I was surprised to see a reporter from NHK ask a question at the press conference yesterday, considering how they basically ignored the topic for so long.

But, of course, no mention of it on the highly-rated 7pm news today. Only a brief mention on the much lower rated 4pm news.

Looks like they just want to be able to say they covered it, just in case it ever becomes the big deal it should have been all along. It's more like covering their butts than actually covering the story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He had so much power of the Japanese entertainment industry and probably all the way up into politics, it's easy to understand how he could keep it under wraps. I found interesting that right as he died a lot more kpop companies and productions started popping up in different Japanese media, and the radio became 50% kpop, and not those Japanese versions.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

PaulToday  06:57 am JST

Here it is! I always thought Johnny was gay. With all those half-naked feminine young boys!!!

I noticed that Japan Today deleted my previous post so I will post it in a similar way. Hopefully not to be deleted.

Being a paedophile has nothing to do with being "gay". Zero! We would never say that a paedophile is heterosexual in the same sentence. You're conflating two issues. Johnny was a predator and used his power over young boys.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

These stories were being talked about 30 years ago. The media, TV companies and music business went along knowing full well that Johnny was up to no good. Just like Jimmy in the UK.

5 ( +5 / -0 )


Noted. Quite right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tragically, do you know what will happen with this?

Probably nothing.

None of the broadcast news programs in Japan will touch this. Their networks carry too many "variety shows" that depend on Johnny's "talent" appearing on such shows.

This is even true of NHK. Too many Johnny's acts & personalities appear on too many of their shows -- and not just the New Year's Eve "Kohaku" either.

Plus, Johnny's acts are just too popular. Few people will believe this story -- because most people just don't want to believe it.

I believe every word of this young man's story. But what good is that?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is also a question Why many Japanese boys would want to look like girls.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why is it important to mention Okamoto is Japanese-Brazilian?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jimmy Saville mostly abused disabled and handicapped school aged children widely using his fame from TV, contact with pop stars and charity work to gain access. This Johnny bloke seems to have abused the hopeful and up and coming artists themselves by being a person of great influence in the business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And yet, "Johnny" is still celebrated here, and his company still thrives, despite the known pedophilia. Amazing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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