(Bloomberg) -- J-pop talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. will spin off operations of its main company to establish a separate entity focusing on talent management, the Nikkei reported Saturday.
The Japanese, family-held firm will focus on compensation for hundreds of victims an investigation concluded were sexually abused by its late founder, Johnny Kitagawa, over more than four decades, Nikkei said. The agency — whose name is better known than many of its individual stars — recently acknowledged it failed to stop Kitagawa’s serial sexual abuse.
Two of Japan’s top beer companies, Suntory Holdings Ltd. and Kirin Holdings Co., said last month they would cut commercial ties with the agency, the nation’s biggest. Julie Keiko Fujishima, the founder’s niece, resigned in September following the investigation, which found the music impresario’s abuse occurred between the early 1970s and mid-2010s.
Kitagawa brought popular boy bands including Hikaru Genji, SMAP, Arashi and Sexy Zone to prominence in the world’s second-biggest recorded music market and beyond, before his death in 2019. The new company may be named based on suggestions from fans, the newspaper said.
Read More: Head of J-Pop Talent Agency Resigns Over Sex Abuse Scandal
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