Johnny & Associates has finally addressed the abuse allegations made against the late founder, Johnny Kitagawa.

Julie Fujishima, the President of the talent management company who is also Johnny Kitagawa’s niece, recently released a written and video statement on the company’s official website following the allegation made by singer-songwriter Kauan Okamoto against Johnny Kitagawa, in which she apologised to those who have sued for damages, stating that they took a while to hold the press conference in order to confirm the facts before responding responsibly.

“As this was an extremely delicate and sensitive issue and it involved personal privacy, we had to consult with experts such as counsellors and lawyers, and meet the people who have spoken up face to face. We had an internal investigation, and discuss specific countermeasures, and this is why it took so long for me to speak. I apologise for the late response,” she said.

She also declined to share what was discussed between her and Kauan Okamoto in their meeting.

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Company President Julie Fujishima is also Johnny Kitagawa’s niece
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Kauan Okamoto previously held a press conference to accuse Johnny Kitagawa of sexual abuse

Fujishima stated that it was difficult for them to say in one word whether they accept or reject any accusations since Johnny Kitagawa is no longer alive to speak of it. However, she admitted that the company is taking very seriously all claims.

As to whether she knew about the assaults by Johnny Kitagawa, Fujishima stated that while she was the director when she was interviewed by Shukan Bunshun in 1999, Johnny Kitagawa was in charge of talent production while Mary Kitagawa was in charge of management.

“Because of this, I was in a situation where I couldn’t talk about management and operations of the company, only my own role. Also, what happened outside of the jurisdiction, what kind of instructions there were, things like this were not known company-wide. There was no board of directors. Important things related to company management, like this, were only know by Johnny and Mary,” she said.

When asked how the company will prevent such a thing from happening again, Fujishima stated that they have several measures now, including an anonymous hotline, briefing sessions for minors accompanied by their guardians, compliance education, as well as having talents participating in activities from their homes instead of dorms.

“However, in response to this issue, and to prevent similar things from happening in the future, we have established a compliance committee with the participation of outside parties. We will also further strengthen and implement initiatives,” she added.

Finally, the president stated that they will accept all criticisms and will continue to hold discussions with their current talents.

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Johnny Kitagawa passed away in 2019

(Photo Source: Japan Times, KBizoom, Nante Japan)