Julie Fujishima, the niece of the late J-pop mogul Johnny Kitagawa, who's accused of sexually abusing hundreds of boys and young men over several decades, has resigned as leader of the talent agency her uncle founded.
Johnny & Associates is Japan’s most popular pop music talent agency, and its founder's scandal garnered mainstream ire after the BBC aired a tell-all documentary in March. Kitagawa, who died in 2019, denied any wrongdoing and was never charged.
While acknowledgment of Johnny Kitagawa's heinous abuse is a step in the right direction, it doesn't come close to justice. For six decades, Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused vulnerable boys while the people around him — and, more deplorably, society as a whole — turned a blind eye to his crimes. This case speaks to the broader crisis of governance in Japanese entertainment and calls attention to the nation's dearth of adequate child abuse laws.
Although there are no excuses for the terrible crimes Kitagawa committed and Japan's entertainment industry — and the nation itself — has a long way to go to stamping out crimes against minors, both the agency and Tokyo have taken encouraging steps forward: Johnny & Associates with its compensation program and Japan with its revision of the Penal Code concerning sex crimes and further reforms in the works.