Fans demand Johnny's talent agency investigate sexual abuse claims

TOKYO, May 13 (Kyodo) - Fans of idols belonging to Johnny & Associates Inc., one of Japan's most powerful talent agencies, said Thursday they have submitted a petition with around 16,000 signatures demanding that the firm investigate allegations of sexual abuse by its late founder Johnny Kitagawa.

The supporters, who spoke at a press conference in Tokyo, launched in April a group called Penlight to protest the agency's handling of such allegations after Kauan Okamoto, a 26-year-old Japanese-Brazilian singer and songwriter, claimed Kitagawa sexually abused him on multiple occasions as a young teen.

Kitagawa was the subject of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, with the Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun publishing in 1999 a series detailing accusations of child abuse and sexual exploitation by several boys he had taken under his wing. ...continue reading

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