Johnny & Associates Holds Follow Up Press Conference on Company Changes

Johnny & Associates held a follow up press conference to their September 7 one, where the company accepted the abuse allegations against founder Johnny Kitagawa, and where Julie Fujishima resigned as company president.

At today’s press conference, new company president Noriyuki Higashiyama took the stage, along with Johnnys’ Island President Yoshihiko Inohara. They were joined by attorney Kimeda Yutaka, and new company Chief Compliance Officer Yamada Masayuki. Fujishima was not present.

During the press conference, Higashiyama revealed that as of September 30, 478 people have registered with the company as victims, with 325 of them seeking compensation. The company will begin compensating victims in November, according to Higashiyama.

In an effort to make a clean break from Kitagawa, the company will be changing its name. Starting on October 17, the company will known as “SMILE-UP.”

“SMILE-UP.” is a trademark the company acquired three years ago to promote social contribution projects,” Higashiyama said. “I think there are people who feel uncomfortable with the word ‘smile’, but we believe that it is SMILE-UP.’s social responsibility to provide support and compensation to the victims as quickly as possible.”

Furthermore, a new agency company is being created, whose name will be determined based on open solicitations from anyone in the family club.

As for the new management company, Fujishima will not invest nor be a director in it. Higashiyama will serve as president of this company, with Inohara as his vice president. Inohara will continue his activities as a talent despite his new role.

In an effort to erase traces of Kitagawa, groups bearing his name will also receive new names.

Showing his support for the victims, Inohara spoke out against the slander they are facing on social media. “The victims must be really hurt, carrying this burden all by themselves. They were finally able to speak out, and I don’t want that courage to go to waste. Because of this courage, this company has started to make major changes. So please, please stop the slander.”

Higashiyama also once again denied claims that he sexually harassed other talents at the company, just as he did at last month’s press conference.

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