Don’t let the police get away with it! Former junior staff members reveal their thoughts on “sexual assault by former Johnny’s staff,” which is still being ignored. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Don’t let the police get away with it! Former junior staff members reveal their thoughts on “sexual assault by former Johnny’s staff,” which is still being ignored.

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President Higashiyama told Friday’s direct interview, “Compensation is in progress,” and “I don’t plan to return to show business after the compensation is completed.”

There were two other staff members at the former Johnny’s office who had sexually abused children, in addition to the late Johnny Kitagawa.

As soon as President Noriyuki Higashiyama (53) admitted this fact, a signature drive was started to demand a police investigation into the staff concerned. The recurrence rate of pedophilia among sex offenders is high, and former employees who are let off the hook may threaten victims not to disclose their crimes. However, President Higashiyama stated in an interview with the BBC in the UK, “I am not thinking of providing information to the police. Since sex crimes are non-criminal offenses (the police can investigate even if there is no accusation from the victim), the Citizens’ Circle for the Early Resolution of the Johnny’s Problem, which took the situation seriously, launched a petition drive on the online petition site on April 23. Within a week, nearly 5,000 signatures were collected.

One of the supporters of the campaign is Akari Nihonju, 40, who joined Johnny’s at the age of 13 in August 1996, and has accused the late Johnny Kitagawa of child sexual abuse on 10 occasions since the fall of the same year, using his own name.

I feel that the petition drive itself is something I can support,” he said. From the standpoint of protecting future children, I think the police should take action.

However, “I think it will be difficult to pursue criminal charges,” said Nihonki. He is acquainted with one of the “two staff members who sexually assaulted the children” because “the statute of limitations has passed on his sexual crimes,” he says.

This staff member is a manager, and he was a sexual assaulter 26 to 27 years ago. The statute of limitations has already passed. When I was there, this manager was in his mid to late 20s, and I think he is in his 50s now. He always gave the impression of being in a hurry at the time, which was not surprising since he was in charge of nearly 100 junior associates. …… I remember his voice was high. I have a source who spoke to this manager, and he said, ‘Mr. Janney was sexually assaulting the talents, so I thought it was okay for me to do it too'” (Nihonju).

According to this staff member’s statement, he used his position as manager to have five or six teenage juniors perform oral sex acts on him. As for the other staff member,

Mr. Niki said, “It seems that he was Mr. Higashiyama’s former manager, but I am sure that I myself had never met him. I have received an explanation from the Nishimura & Asahi Lawyer’s Office, which serves as SMILE-UP.’s legal counsel, through its representative, that the sexual assault by that person was not serious.

Mr. Nihongi moved to Ireland to protect his family from slander. He is getting his smile back.

Why did Mr. Higashiyama deny providing information to the police?

When we asked SMILE-UP. about his true intentions, we received the following response from the person in charge of the public relations office.

In cases of sexual assault, the victim’s will is more important than anything else, and we do not think it is appropriate for us to go ahead and provide information to the police, file criminal charges, or notify or consult with the welfare office, etc., before the victim has expressed his or her intention to be punished.

If we were to consult with the police or welfare office, the victim may be forced to explain the facts and details of the sexual assault. In addition, if the perpetrator is prosecuted, the victim may be forced to testify in public court. Thus, if we were to report or report to the police or the welfare office against the wishes of the victim, the psychological burden on the victim would be great, and secondary damage could occur. (omitted) Of course, if the victim files a criminal complaint, we would naturally be willing to cooperate fully with the investigation.”

As to whether the actions of the two former staff members fall under the Child Welfare Law, he said, “It depends on each individual case, and we are not in a position to comment on it,” but he added that he believes he is “not obligated” to notify the authorities.

The term ‘child abuse’ (as used in the Child Abuse Prevention Law) refers to acts committed by a guardian against a child under his or her care (who is under 18 years of age). As for sexual abuse by our staff, it is not committed by a ‘guardian,’ so we do not believe that we are obligated to notify.”

SMILE-UP.’s response was greeted with a sigh from Mr. Nibongi.

However, the police should be able to conduct their investigation in consideration of the victim’s privacy, and victims do not necessarily have to expose their identities to the public. Some victims can only speak out with the cooperation of those around them. Some of them may want to step forward like we did in the past, but we should not exclude them. We believe that we should make our society a place where people can speak out more freely.

Also, I think it is also subtle to define a guardian as only a person who has parental authority. In the broadest sense, the managers who were in charge of the Johnny’s Juniors were in a protective and supervisory position to ensure the physical safety of the talents.

Satoru Fukumoto, an attorney at Kisaragi Law Office, believes that “civil liability cannot be avoided.

SMILE-UP.’ was formerly a Johnny’s office and a corporation that provides compensation services for victims. The tortious acts of former staff members do not exempt them from civil liability. If a victim files a criminal complaint against a former staff member, the statute of limitations for prosecution will not apply. …… President Higashiyama explained that the former staff member left the company last fall, but if he had been sexually assaulting the victim until just before that time, then of course the statute of limitations for prosecution will not apply. Since it is not a criminal charge, he should be convicted of the crime if he is criminally prosecuted.

It should be noted that the requirements for the crime of non-consensual sexual intercourse include the fact that it is difficult for a victim who is “worried or concerned about the disadvantages he or she will suffer from the influence of his or her economic or social status” to express his or her intention to “not consent” in the first place, so sexual intercourse with such a victim would be a crime. Therefore, it must be noted that sexual intercourse with such a victim is a crime. SMILE-UP. may be held liable for damages. Although “SMILE-UP.” claims to compensate the victims, the late Mr. Janie Kitagawa’s act is a tort in the civil sense. When a corporation takes responsibility, it is not ‘compensation’ but ‘indemnification.

Article 34, Item 6 of the Child Welfare Law stipulates that if an employee of a corporation commits an illegal act, “the offender shall be punished, and the fine stipulated in this article shall also be imposed on the corporation or person, respectively. SMILE-UP. declined to comment on this matter, saying, “It depends on each case and we are not in a position to comment on whether or not the two penalties would be applied.

Mr. Nihonki mentioned the possibility that there were other staff members who sexually assaulted the talents in addition to these two.

He said, “The report of the Special Recurrence Prevention Team did not state the specific number of employees who had sexually assaulted the talent. Since we believe the report was compiled based on the testimony of several people, it is possible that there were more than just two sexual assailants, and we believe SMILE-UP. should do more to investigate.”

So SMILE-UP. was not aware of the sexual assaults by its staff until this point? If so, it would be best to leave the investigation to the police.

  • Interview and text Yuria Fukatsuki

    Graduated from Keio University, Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science. Representative of the Fukatsuki Office. She writes for a number of media and also works as an actress, model, belly dancer, and FM radio personality. She is also actively involved in animal welfare activities and produced her own TV program "Animal Welfare, Living in Harmony with the Earth" for TV Kanagawa.

  • PHOTO Keisuke Nishi

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