Agency compensates 115 victims of Johnny Kitagawa abuse

Agency compensates 115 victims of Johnny Kitagawa abuse
via NHK WORLD-JAPAN

A total of 907 victims applied for compensation by Dec. 28, citing sexual molestation by Kitagawa

January 3, 2024
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Talent agency Smile-Up Inc., formerly known as Johnny & Associates Inc., has announced that it has provided compensation to 115 victims of sexual abuse committed by its founder, Johnny Kitagawa. 
Accepting compensation: A total of 907 individuals reportedly applied for compensation by Dec. 28, citing sexual molestation by Kitagawa, who passed away in 2019 without ever being charged. The victims’ relief committee, comprising three lawyers who are former judges, informed 163 claimants about the compensation, with 126 accepting the details. 
However, the company has not disclosed the specific amounts paid to the 115 individuals. The compensation amount is being handled by the relief committee. As of Nov. 30, 23 victims had already received compensation.
About the sex-scandal: Johnny & Associates, renowned for birthing iconic J-pop groups such as SMAP, TOKIO and Arashi, admitted to the sexual abuse perpetrated by Kitagawa in September last year. The U.S.-born Japanese talent manager targeted at least several hundred people from the 1950s to the 2010s. The revelations emerged after years of allegations and gained international attention through a BBC documentary and the testimonies of victims. This probe also led to the resignation of Johnny & Associates President Julie Keiko Fujishima, who expressed her regret and responsibility for her late uncle’s actions.
Surge in consultations: After the scandal came to light, Tokyo police noted a rising number of consultation requests from male victims. The police received 26 consultation calls by the end of October 2023, more than double the previous year, with many victims reporting incidents from years or decades ago.
Temporary sexual abuse consultation offices: The government’s gender equality bureau reportedly set up temporary sexual abuse consultation offices for adult men and boys, acknowledging the difficulties male victims face in seeking help. In less than two months, the offices provided 77 consultations, with around 70% of adult male victims seeking advice on incidents over 20 years old. Officials introduced victims to lawyers and support centers and encouraged parents to seek consultations if they observe any signs of distress in young children.
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      Michelle De Pacina

      Michelle De Pacina
      is a New York-based Reporter for NextShark

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