Home > Momo yabbering > Johnny’s & Associates vs the Japanese press

Johnny’s & Associates vs the Japanese press

15:51 JST July 14, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Johnny’s & Associates have let their worst enemy into a press conference.

I know this isn’t the usual news I write about, but I read an interesting article today that I thought would give you a glimpse into how Johnny’s has dealt with a particularly risky gossip paper.

Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, which I suppose would be a Japanese equivalent of Newsweek, had reported that Johnny’s & Associates had given ‘arch enemy’ Tokyo Sports shinbum permission to attend a Johnny’s group’s press conference on July 8.  This was the day Kanjani8’s Shingo Murakami, Ryuhei Murayama, and Shota Yasuda had talked about their new documentary special.

Tokyo Sports is a daily gossip and sports newspaper, and has been considered to be…a big risk taker, publishing news the general media would never consider safe.  Shukan Bunshun had reported that the paper’s track record for Johnny’s star news has included: Arashi’s Satoshi Ohno’s drug use, SMAP’s Masahiro Nakai impregnating a woman, and NEWS’ and Kanjani8’s Ryo Nishikido sexually harassing someone.

Because of this, the group’s talent agency Johnny’s & Associates had for a long time forbidden Tokyo Sports reporters from attending Johnny’s press conferences.  Other press outlets who have been denied access in the past include Shukan Jyosei (Woman’s Weekly).

So it came as a surprise to many reporters when they had learnt that Johnny’s had let in one of their enemies into last week’s session.

The magazine has reported that some journalists have found the agency more welcoming than they had previously been.  One journalist has said the agency might be doing this on purpose in order to stop any further bad press.

They said that some highly-regarded entertainers and directors in Japan, who had also rejected interviews from gossip newspapers for years, were beginning to interact with their reporters.  In doing so, communicating with such media outlets had a positive effect by reducing the number of scandals written about them.

Unfortunately for Shukan Bunshun who published this story, Johnny’s & Associates isn’t ready to talk to them yet, and hung up on their reporters during research for this news.

Probably with good reason…Shukan Bunshun magazine had gotten into a lot of trouble when they published a story in 1999, claiming that agency president Johnny Kitagawa had sexually harassed underage boys in his care.  The controversy was published in several major overseas newspapers including the New York Times.

President Kitagawa sued the magazine, claiming he had been defamed*, and in 2002, the Tokyo District Court had ordered Shukan Bunshun to pay 8.8 million yen (about US$100,000) to Mr Kitagawa in damages.

(* ‘defamed’ is used a lot when journalists are sent to court over something they wrote.  A person is defamed when a journalist writes a story that attacks the person’s nature and affects their image or company negatively)

I’m always going in and out of lots of fan discussion boards and blogs to see what everyone’s talking about, but it’s amazing how widespread a lot of stories from Tokyo Sports circulate around the net.  While I can’t say for sure that all of their stories are fabricated, I think it would a good idea to remain skeptical.


On another note, I find Johnny Kitagawa to be a really interesting character.  He’s definately up high on my list of individuals I’d like to interview one day.

His innovative approach to creating the Johnny’s brand and making sure it stays on top is a quality I admire, and even though he’s 78, he still manages to spot talent.

No way!  This is my 50th post???

Yattaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! o(^-^o) (o^-^)o

Still appreciate everyone who comes here every day, sometimes, or even once (^-^)/

I have spent a large part of today listening to Tegomass and Kanjani8 songs while working, ahhhhh…

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