78-year-old Actor Alleges Sexual Abuse by Johnny Kitagawa in 1950s

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yoshitsugu Hattori speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Saturday.

Actor Yoshitsugu Hattori, 78, said Saturday he was sexually abused when he was a child by Johnny Kitagawa, the founder of a famous all-male talent agency who died in 2019 at the age of 87.

The second son of songwriter Ryoichi Hattori, a recipient of the People’s Honor Award, told a press conference in Tokyo that he was sexually assaulted by Kitagawa when he was an elementary school student, when Kitagawa stayed at the house of the Hattoris or on other occasions.

Kitagawa met Ryoichi Hattori through work before Kitagawa established Johnny & Associates Inc. and began visiting the Hattoris in the 1950s, Hattori said. Ryoichi Hattori died in 1993.

The abuse continued for about 2½ years, Hattori said. His male friend from elementary school, age 79, was also present at the press conference and said that he also was sexually assaulted by Kitagawa around the same time.

Hattori said he gave the press conference in response to sexual abuse allegations made against Kitagawa by those who formerly belonged to the agency.

“I would like to talk with the agency and people who have spoken out about the abuse,” Hattori said.