By Shaimaa Khalil & Derek Cai
(BBC) – The boss of Japan’s biggest pop talent agency has resigned after finally admitting the sexual abuse committed by its late founder, Johnny Kitagawa.
Julie Fujishima resigned from Johnny and Associates on Thursday during a public apology to her uncle’s victims.
Her departure comes a week after investigators found Kitagawa abused hundreds of boys and young men over six decades, as head of the boyband agency.
A BBC documentary this year about the abuse led more victims to come forward.
Johnny Kitagawa died in 2019, having always denied wrongdoing. He never faced charges.
On Thursday, his niece and outgoing chief executive Ms Fujishima acknowledged his abuse for the first time.
“Both the agency itself and I myself as a person recognise that sex abuse by Johnny Kitagawa took place,” she said.
“I apologise to his victims from the bottom of my heart.”
Local media showed some of the victims watching the news conference, some looking visibly angry.
At a news conference in Tokyo after Ms Fujishima spoke, some of Kitagawa’s victims said they thought her remarks had been sincere and had helped them – but there was a long way to go.