Johnny Kitagawa dies at 87
NHK -- Jul 10
Johnny Kitagawa, the founder and president of major Japanese talent agency Johnny and Associates, has died at the age of 87.

Kitagawa died of a stroke on Tuesday at a hospital in Tokyo.

Kitagawa was born in Los Angeles in 1931 and spent his childhood moving between Japan and the United States.

He founded Johnny & Associates in 1962. The agency has produced many popular male groups such as SMAP, TOKIO, KinKi Kids, V6 and Arashi.

Kitagawa was also known as a music producer and theater director. He was the holder of Guinness World Records titles for the most No. 1 singles and the most concerts produced by an individual.

Kitagawa himself rarely appeared or spoke in media. But he accepted an NHK interview for a program broadcast in January 2018 on condition that he would not be filmed. He said in the program that he thought his role was to create shows that make the audience feel happy.

Media in Taiwan quickly reported Kitagawa's death, as male groups belonging to his agency have held concerts there.

A major newspaper, The Liberty Times, called Kitagawa "the godfather of Japanese idol groups," praising him for producing many pop groups, actors and other TV personalities.

多くの人気アイドルを育てたジャニーズ事務所の社長・ジャニー喜多川さんが9日、くも膜下出血のため都内の病院で亡くなりました。87歳でした。 ジャニーズ事務所によりますと、ジャニーさんは先月18日に自宅で体調の異変を訴えた後に意識を失い、救急搬送されました。入院中には、自身が育てたタレントたちが入れ代わり立ち代わり病室に面会に訪れていましたが、9日夕方にくも膜下出血のため亡くなりました。ジャニーさんはアメリカ・ロサンゼルス生まれで、ジャニーズ事務所を設立した後は歌って踊り、俳優や司会もこなす男性タレントを数多く育ててきました。通夜と告別式は所属タレントらで行う家族葬とし、後日にお別れの会を開くということです。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Oct 20
Long queues for replica shirts, desperate searches for tickets and TV stations showing Japan's wins on a loop: excitement is building ahead of the host nation's historic Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
The Japanese government says Typhoon Hagibis' damage to farming, forestry and fisheries has reached 57 billion yen, or about 527 million dollars. (NHK)
Oct 18
Two Japanese women, one behind a campaign against women being forced to wear high heels at work under corporate rules and the other a collegiate sumo wrestler, were included in British broadcaster the BBC’s 2019 list of 100 influential women from around the world released Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
Japan's education ministry says 332 school children committed suicide in the year through March, the highest number since records began in 1988. (NHK)
Oct 18
The U.S. Marine Corps on Thursday acknowledged an error in the identity of a second Marine pictured lifting the American flag over Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic photographs of World War II. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The first solar-powered cars to complete a 3,000-kilometer endurance race across Australia reached the finish line in Adelaide on Thursday, with Japan's Tokai University Solar Car Team coming in second place. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
People in areas hit by Typhoon Hagibis are struggling to recover from flooding. NHK has learned the death toll has risen to 77. Rescuers are searching for 10 people who are still missing. (NHK)
Oct 17
The International Olympic Committee is considering moving the marathons and race walking events for the 2020 Summer Games from Tokyo to the northern island of Hokkaido amid concerns about the Japanese capital's stiflingly hot weather. (Nikkei)
Oct 17
Venomous fire ants could spread in Japan, as the recent discovery of about 50 queen ants at a Tokyo port suggests the invasive alien insect from South America has likely taken root, according to an analysis by a national research institute. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
With a rapidly aging and declining population, human capital is one of Japan's most precious resources. Yet despite Japan's need to draw on every individual in the workforce, there is a section of the population whose potential is being overlooked: children in poverty. (Nikkei)