Former Johnny’s Jr. member Nikenori Nihonju “I have decided to leave Japan to protect my family from slander. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Johnny’s Jr. member Nikenori Nihonju “I have decided to leave Japan to protect my family from slander.

A member of "Junior Golden Period" who was sexually abused by the late Mr. Kitagawa from the age of 13 makes a painful confession, revealing a negotiation process full of discomforts.

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After leaving the school in ’98, he went to the U.S. at the age of 15. He was awakened to the guitar and made his major label debut. Since then, he has been active as a musician and instructor. The photo shows him in Na Gleannta, a scenic spot in Ireland.

The BBC documentary “Shadow of the Predator: After the Dismantling of Johnny’s,” aired on March 30, was shocking.

It was the admission by Noriyuki Higashiyama, 57, president of Smile Up, that two staff members of the office, in addition to the late Janie Kitagawa, had sexually assaulted the talents belonging to the company.

He joined the Johnny’s s office in August ’96 at the age of 13. Akimasa Nihongi, 40, was one of those who was shocked by the accusations of sexual assault by the late Johnny Kitagawa, which began in the fall of the same year, and which were reported under his own name 10 times. However, this was in response to a statement made by President Higashiyama, who has long reigned at the top of the Japanese talent.

When asked by a BBC reporter if there was a climate of rampant sexual assault, President Higashiyama denied it. In reality, however, sexual assault has been going on within Johnny’s for half a century. I wish President Higashiyama had at least told the truth.”

Mr. Nimoto was a member of the “golden age” of the junior group, which included such big names as Kazuya Ninomiya (40), Shingo Murakami (42), and Tomohisa Yamashita (39), all of whom joined the group at the same time. I have seen many Jr. members who accepted sexual assault as a rite of passage or as a means of survival.

Regarding the slander of those who have complained of harm, President Higashiyama said, “There is also freedom of speech. I think that ‘freedom of speech’ that hurts people is subject to regulation. We have been sexually assaulted, and now we are being slandered for having had the courage to report the damage. We are suffering doubly, and we want concrete measures to be taken against slander, not just a reminder on the website.”

Nibongi also feels uncomfortable with the negotiation process for compensation, which is SmileUp’s main business, and tilts his head.

After meeting with the Victims’ Relief Committee, which consists of lawyers, we receive a document with the amount of money, but we are only offered two choices: to receive …… compensation or not to receive it. I interviewed several victims, and they were all puzzled, saying, ‘The basis and criteria for how the compensation amount was determined is unclear.

The amount of Mr. Nibonju’s compensation is “currently being calculated by the relief committee,” according to the company. Smile-Up’s public relations department says, “If requested by the victims, we will explain the reasons for the calculation of the compensation amount to the extent possible,” but Mr. Nihonju continued, “There was also a problem with the method used to confirm his enrollment.

The criteria was based on appearances in the media, such as TV and magazines (Smile Up PR denied this).” “Some of them, however, were taking lessons. However, some of them were only taking lessons and were sexually assaulted. Some were affiliated with other entertainment agencies, but were victimized after being introduced by related parties. Such situations should also be taken into consideration. When we requested that the legal counsel of the “Association of Parties Concerned with Johnny’s’s Sexual Assault” and the witness testimonies of those who were affiliated with the company at that time be investigated, certain progress was made, such as admitting enrollment if there was a third party who could testify.”

Junya Hiramoto, 57, the head of the association, was instrumental in this effort, but he has since resigned due to ill health. The main reason why many members have left the association is that they have been slandered as being “money-oriented” from the very beginning of the association,” he said. Mr. Nibonju also left Japan in April of this year.

Last February, our child was born, but the slanderous remarks caused my wife a lot of heartache, so we decided to raise the child in Ireland, her home country, after discussing it with her ……. We believe that we have achieved a certain degree of success in our primary objective of recognizing the facts of sexual assault and providing relief to the victims. However, receiving compensation is not the end. We want to use this experience to eradicate sexual assault against children. I launched an organization called “Alligator’s Action” with my friends who think so. We will continue our activities online.”

It is by no means the future he sought. Still, Mr. Nibongi looks forward. For the sake of his younger colleagues in the entertainment industry.

In front of his new home with his wife. The staff who sexually assaulted Jr. could be considered guardians in the broad sense of the word, and it could be considered child abuse. In the U.K., there is no statute of limitations on sex crimes.”
Former Johnny’s Jr. member Nikenori Nihonju “I decided to leave Japan to protect my family from slander.
Former Johnny’s Jr. member Nikenori Nihonju “I have decided to leave Japan in order to protect my family from slander.

From the May 10 and 17, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Yuria Fukatsuki

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