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Japan broadcasters issue rare apologies for past silence over J-pop agency sex abuse

41 Comments
By Francis Tang and Maki Shiraki

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41 Comments
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How weak and shameful.

Clearly this was an open secret known by all and sundry for many years and they all chose to close ranks and ignore it, which simply makes them complicit. Saying 'We promise to do better' is as galling as their lack of responsibility.

What a disgrace.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Now, I’ll never be able to watch a Japanese boy band

without thinking that there are hundreds of victims amongst them.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Now, I’ll still never be able to watch a Japanese boy band

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Now, I’ll never be able to watch a Japanese boy band

You are only hearing of this now?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The media in Japan deserves to be harshly criticized for this deliberate burying of news that would have saved more victims of child abuse. That’s unforgivable. Apologies now are decades late but better late than never.

And never forget PM Shinzo Abe praising the pedophile at his funeral. Unforgivable again.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Oh cmon NHK, you aren’t sorry, you are sorry you got caught.

Theres a big difference.

18 ( +31 / -13 )

Other major broadcasters including NTV, TV Asahi and Fuji TV, also issued statements promising to do better.

I would reckon that is another culprit that is the linchpin, and upon which the broadcasters and Johnny's derive their revenue, and that is advertising.

And speaking of advertising in Japan, you know who to look for and it starts with "d".

To add to all the other malfeasance they are involved in, their complicity kept the cloak of silence and the revenue flowing.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

NagoyajinToday  07:07 am JST

And never forget PM Shinzo Abe praising the pedophile at his funeral. Unforgivable again.

Abe had fewer morals than the Ebola virus so it's hardly surprising.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

"But NHK's awareness over this issue was wanting, and we never followed up with deeper reporting or chose to take it up," it said, promising improvements.

People deserve an explanation as to why NHK were complicit in covering up Johnny's grotesque crimes. Can't promise improvements if you're unwilling to identify or explain why this happened.

Fear of it affecting their bottom line? Fear of the power and influence of a boyband management company? If a talent agency has the power to control NHK's content then what about the influence of the government and other powerful corporations and companies?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

And never forget PM Shinzo Abe praising the pedophile at his funeral. Unforgivable again.

Abe had fewer morals than the Ebola virus so it's hardly surprising.

THIS!!! Excellent posts, both of you!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

I notice that Japan Today didn't even run a story yesterday about the big changes going on. I was dying to comment on how it is all window dressing and the new president is just a stooge until Julie Fujishima divests herself of all her stock, the company is renamed and compensation is paid to all the victims.

I am happy to see that Asahi drinks has said they will not use any Johnny's celebrities endorsing any of their products. I hope that many media companies will do the same. Shame on all of these people who knew what was going on in their own company but never stood up and said anything.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The logical conclusion would be to investigate other groups that deal with children/minors, and to make laws to protect them, but I doubt this will go any further. Just like the Moonies, no one wants to question Komeito and Soka Gakkai, and in parallel, no one wants to question what's going on with the AKB groups even though the Johhnys crime naturally raises suspicions.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Like I said before. Johnny & Associates = Pedophile central. I knew the moment I saw the first program with half naked boys dancing on a stage 24 years ago. I said to my wife "who ever is in charge of this is a pedophile!". And anyone who says, I didn't know, is lying! And it was all covered up by the family and ALL media. Absolutely DISGUSTING!!! Shame on you!!! And NHK wants you to pay licence fees?!?!?!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

And in a years time we will have another breaking story about how this wasn't limited to Johhnys, and is actually rife throughout the media industry. I know a wanabe announcer who was put in a spot like this but instead of going for it they left the industry and moved abroad.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Meanwhile, Johnny's biggest star Kimura Takuya (SMAP) posted on instagram "show must go on!" with a matching salute.

Imagine telling that to the hundreds of victims, smh.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Meanwhile, Johnny's biggest star Kimura Takuya (SMAP) posted on instagram "show must go on!" with a matching salute.

There is definitely something going on here. The youngest member of SMAP, Shingo auditioned for Johnny when he was 10. As if he was spared.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Japanese "journalism" for the most part is a joke. Fluff reporting and rarely any "hard" news that calls out anyone or anything, until "someone" breaks it first, or there is an incident. Then they all jump on the bandwagon.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Shame on you.

Shame on all of you.

A mere apology isn’t going to do it.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I worked in the industry, it was an open secret. Absolutely no one did anything, it was disturbing and whenever a new group was being promoted as everyone wondered what they had to go through to get there.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

When things are a little inconvenient and doesn't fit the popular narrative, the strategy is to sweep it under the carpet...until someone or something bigger uncovers it.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So, they all release apologies at the same time. Even that is a bit fishy. Like if everyone is guilty then they can feel like guilt is diluted. NHK did something on this subject on "Close-up Gendai" earlier in the year and, as usual, it said almost nothing but gave the impression of addressing it. No apology, no admission of thorough complicity then though. The program itself is always like looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope (Faraway Gendai).

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Apologies now are decades late but better late than never. 

Meaningless insincere “apologies”, by complicit enablers. Disgust compounded.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And I want to know what the big stars in SMAP and Arashi knew and when they knew it.

Silence = complicity.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

If it weren’t for the BBC bringing shame to glorious Nippon, this story wouldn’t even have broken in Japan.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Japan broadcasters issue rare apologies

rookie NHK plebeian: oh no boss, we got exposed. What do we do?

NHK exec: relax, just send out the bowing team, take apology speech #69 out and give the fake water works. It'll blow over in month, as usual. Make sure you deliver this briefcase to "Tanaka" as well. Now hurry up! And get the case to TANANKA!

rookie NHK plebeian: ok boss!

NHK exec: And when you're done with that, meet me in the storage room. And bring a flashlight.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Silence = complicity.

Talk about disgusting none of the SMAP boys will criticize Johnny's. They're the epitome of the company, and they're afraid and/or wrongly loyal to speak up for the right thing.

Not be able to take the high road in their lives and realize just what a gaslight they've been through, and now they, themselves, are the gaslighter, is cowardly and embarrassing.

Success is what people in Japan think of KimuTaku. No, he's a loser of a human being.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

And how many years was this vile pedophile creep getting away with this? Everyone around him knew what was happening, from the directors down, and they chose to do nothing. Were they all in on it as well? And you can bet it is still going on, not just in Japan, but in too many other countries entertainment circles.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So there was only one criminal here , Johnny Kitagawa? Other people in that company has done nothing wrong including coverup his crimes?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@sunfunbun It was hard to imagine of what the SMAP guys has done with Johnny Kitagawa. Perhaps they should come out and be honest telling the truth!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And I want to know what the big stars in SMAP and Arashi knew and when they knew it. 

They knew from the start.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

And I want to know what the big stars in SMAP and Arashi knew and when they knew it. 

They knew EVERYTHING.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Mobeen Azhar was the BBC reporter who made the documentary.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Smh…; do we really need to keep hearing about these press conferences and empty apologies(?); … guy’s dead… but if you wanna hit him, stop calling it Johnny & Associates…, change the name.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To make a genuine heartfelt apology, is not in any way accepting or recognizing or creating the structural changes, transparency that will fundamentally bring order confidence to a broadcast media industry, that will halt sandals, manipulators abusers, villainy continuing to prevail and thrive  

Is it not a form of platitudinous falsification, a rather wishful hope that these predators, ruthless hyena manipulators will just adapt and continue to engage in an abuse of power?

Only a dismantling, to teardown to its foundations, then to rebuild after a period of reflection.

Where is the acceptance that accountability must take centre stage. To be held ultimately responsible?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I just saw Takuya Kimura's "The show must go on!" Instagram pic. He knew, they all knew.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Now that we know that every branch of the media (except a few brave magazines) decided not to report this huge story, I have a sneeky suspicion that their might be one or two other issues that they have chosen to avoid.

I could be mistaken though.

gary

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Shame on all of these people who knew what was going on in their own company but never stood up and said anything.

Yep, this goes for all of these multi-millionaire boy band members as well. They are all complicit one way or the other.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Where is the Justice ?

Is bowing part of the typical punishement allowed by law ?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

After Japan's top talent agency Johnny & Associates apologized on Thursday for decades of sexual abuses committed by its late founder

Say what? What apology? I read the news Thursday. Abuses were acknowledged and the President stepped down. Nothing about an apology.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Meanwhile, Johnny's biggest star Kimura Takuya (SMAP) posted on instagram "show must go on!" with a matching salute.

It's all got to be about Kimura. Not the many victims, some of whom were likely colleagues.

Kimura is a preening, prancing Japanese Derek Zoolander - without any of the talent.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

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