Johnny Kitagawa

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Johnny Kitagawa: Pop Singer Kauan Okamato Describes Sexual By A Renowned Producer

Johnny Kitagawa

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Another former J-pop star has claimed Johnny Kitagawa, a renowned Japanese music producer who died in 2019, sexually abused him repeatedly.

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As a member of a boy band from 2012 to 2016, Kauan Okamoto stated that he was abused up to 20 times, commencing when he was 15 years old.

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The 26-year-old stated that he believed up to 100 boys were abused.

Throughout his life, Kitigawa denied all accusations, and he was never charged. In March, a BBC documentary detailed allegations from multiple victims.

Multiple accusers stated in the BBC documentary Predator: The Secret Scandal of J-Pop that they feared for their careers if they refused to testify against Kitagawa.

In Japan, he was regarded as one of the most influential figures in the music industry. When he died in 2019 at the age of 87, his legacy of creating numerous J-pop icons was widely celebrated.

However, allegations that he had sexually exploited and abused adolescent artists have existed since 1999, when the local magazine Shukan Bunshun published accounts from six former idols.

However, the majority of Japanese media did not report the allegations, leading to years of accusations of an industry cover-up.

Mr. Okamoto stated at a press conference for foreign media on Wednesday that he felt compelled to speak out following the publication of the BBC documentary last month.

On 5 April, he initially detailed his allegations to Shukan Bunshun, and on Wednesday, he was invited to speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.

According to reports, Okamoto stated,

“Japanese media are extremely reluctant to cover this issue, but foreign media, such as the BBC, may report on it.”

The Japanese-Brazilian singer and songwriter stated that the assault occurred 15 to 20 times in Kitagawa’s apartment in Tokyo.

In 2012, he was selected to join the Johnny’s Jr group, a talent pool of male idols in training at Johnny & Associates, Kitagawa’s agency.

Mr. Okamoto stated that he knew of at least one hundred boys who had stayed at Kitagawa’s residence, and he believed that all of them had been abused.

Following Mr. Okamato’s press conference on Wednesday, Johnny & Associates issued a statement stating that the company was working to “strengthen our governance system.”

It did not respond to Mr. Okamato’s accusations or make any other reference to the company’s progenitor.

The agency remains Japan’s leading manager and producer of male talent. It has produced some of the most popular boy bands in the country, including SMAP and Arashi.

Mr. Okamoto stated that he had never contemplated suing Johnny & Associates.

Instead, he hoped that telling his story would encourage other victims to come forward.

“I hope everyone comes forward because the number of victims is outrageous,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“I believe it was wrong for him to conduct sexual acts on me and other boys when I was 15 years old.”

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