Earlier this week, Johnny & Associates president Julie Fujishima released a statement addressing allegations that the company’s late founder, Johnny Kitagawa, had used his position and affluence to sexually assault young boys within his agency. Though published in the tabloid Shūkan Bunshun more than two decades ago, a recent BBC documentary Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop has brought the allegations back to light. 

Immediately there was a backlash from both sides of the aisle, and immediately, Jonny & Associates released a statement stating that they were working on creating “transparent organizational structures.” 

Since then, while the company has been externally quiet about the issue, another claim of misconduct was made by a young man who was once a part of Johnnys’ Jr. The young man’s claims were very similar to those made in the past, that if they engaged in sexual acts with Kitagawa, they would debut. 

With Mr. Kitagawa unable to defend himself being 4 years dead, Fujishima is placed in a challenging position as not only is she the company’s president, but she is also the niece of Mr. Kitagawa; specifically, the daughter of Kitagawa’s sister and company co-founder Mary. Nonetheless, in the official statement, Fujishima issued a formal but heartfelt apology to those who have alleged sexual abuse, adding that she was committed to implementing measures addressing the victim’s needs. 

However, at this time, no findings by the company have been found that support those claims, nor has any tangible proof of the allegations been handed forth by those who have claimed that they have been assaulted. 

It’s their words against the ghost of a man still beloved by those who knew him and an entire industry. 

I did not know Mr. Kitagawa personally, and I am still green to the world of Johnny & Associates. However, I am not new to witnessing these kinds of allegations, especially against influential people. Are there instances where allegations like this are true? Absolutely. But, it’s been my experience, with just being a consumer of industry news, that when someone who alleges misgivings – then uses it as a springboard to keep their name in the press for the sake of their own career trajectory… Well, then to be honest, the integrity of claims have been found to be less than genuine. 

For more information on Johnny & Associates or to view Ms. Fujishima’s complete statement, please visit Johnny & Associates’ official website.

Unless there is some major development, this will be the one and only post about these allegations.