NTV President Requests Johnny’s to Change Company Name over Sexual Abuse Scandal by Late Founder

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Johnny & Associates Inc. building is seen in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Nippon Television Network Corp. President Akira Ishizawa said on Monday that he verbally requested Johnny & Associates Inc. change its name in light of sexual abuse committed over decades by its late former president, Johnny Kitagawa.

Ishizawa told reporters at a regular press conference that he also told the agency, “The organization handling compensation [for abuse victims] should be separate from management.”

The broadcaster also delivered a written request on Sept. 20 to the agency’s new president, Noriyuki Higashiyama, asking the agency to take effective steps, claiming that the agency’s relief measures for the abuse victims are insufficient.

In the letter, a request was made for the agency to create an effective relief system based on dialogue with the victims and to appropriately compensate them.

The broadcaster also called for the agency to review and manage the organization to prevent any more cases of abuse, and to foster a better environment to allow entertainers to work comfortably.

Ishizawa also discussed future use of the agency’s entertainers for NTV’s programs. “It will depend on whether [the agency] can firmly establish a credible policy,” he said.

The NTV president also revealed that the broadcaster started interviewing its staff about its past handling of issues related to sexual scandals involving the late entertainment mogul and would publicly announce the results.