NHK Suspends New Contracts with Johnny’s Talents

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
NHK’s headquarters building

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The public broadcaster NHK will not sign new contracts with talents from scandal-hit Johnny & Associates Inc. for the time being, NHK President Nobuo Inaba said Wednesday.

“We will not [make new work offers to Johnny’s talents] unless we confirm that [the talent agency] is steadily proceeding with compensation to victims [in the sexual abuse scandal] and efforts to prevent a recurrence,” Inaba told a regular press conference.

NHK will maintain existing contracts with Johnny’s talents, he added.

The policy of avoiding new contracts with Johnny’s talents went into effect on Wednesday. It will also apply to “NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen” (NHK red and white song battle), the broadcaster’s long-running show aired every New Year’s Eve.

Last week, NHK made a verbal request to Johnny & Associates to provide relief to victims and take preventive measures.

Earlier this month, the talent agency admitted that its founder, Johnny Kitagawa, who died in 2019, had sexually abused young Johnny’s members for decades.