Karin Kaneko
For Karin Kaneko's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Johnny & Associates president Noriyuki Higashiyama (second from right), flanked by Johnnys' Island President Yoshihiko Inohara (second from left), unveils the company name Smile-Up during a news conference in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Society
Oct 2, 2023
Johnny's to form new company in wake of sexual abuse by founder
The move comes after the agency acknowledged abuse and apologized to victims in a news conference last month.
Makoto Nishimoto during his campaign rally in December 2022. On Wednesday, Nishimoto, a member of the Miyazaki Municipal Assembly who goes by the name Super Crazy-kun, was indicted on sexual assault charges.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Sep 28, 2023
Japan politician Super Crazy-kun indicted on sexual assault charges
Makoto Nishimoto was charged on the grounds of nonconsensual sexual intercourse resulting in injury. The victim was a female acquaintance in her 30s.
Members of sexual minority groups and experts at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Sep 27, 2023
Supreme Court may adjust requirements for gender status change
If the court deems the surgery requirement for a gender change to be unconstitutional, it is expected to pave the way for an amendment of the law.
A screen grab from video footage taken by an eyewitness shows three masked suspects fleeing a Rolex specialty store in Tokyo's Ginza district in May.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Sep 25, 2023
18-year-old Ginza robbery suspect gets 4½ years in prison
It was ruled that Shoma Torii bears serious criminal responsibility, since he went ahead with the heist even after he was informed it was a robbery.
Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki (right) visits a refrigeration facility in Monbetsu, Hokkaido, where returned stocks of scallops are piling up, on Sept. 14.
Sep 22, 2023
Hokkaido seafood piles up in freezers following China ban
Scallops and other products are amassing in freezers at processing facilities in the prefecture, costing businesses more for storage.
Visitors climb the slopes of Mount Fuji on Aug. 31. The mountain has long been a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers.
JAPAN / Society
Sep 17, 2023
Tourists have returned to Mount Fuji. Is that sustainable?
A spike in visitors has created various challenges, including overcrowding, littering, strained infrastructure and a shortage of guides and rescue teams.
The incoming and outgoing presidents of Johnny & Associates, Noriyuki Higashiyama and Julie Keiko Fujishima, bow at a press conference on Sept. 7.
PODCAST / deep dive
Sep 14, 2023
Johnny’s talent agency has admitted to a past of abuse. What next?
Karin Kaneko joins the show to update us on how the story is unfolding.
The headquarters of Johnny & Associates in Tokyo's Minato Ward
JAPAN / Society
Sep 14, 2023
Johnny's says it will work for free as firms cut ties over scandal
The talent agency says it will not receive management fees for advertisements and television appearances by performers for a year.
Former Johnny & Associates performer Kauan Okamoto, who publicly accused Johnny Kitagawa of sexually abusing him after a BBC documentary on the Johnny & Associates founder in March, sheds tears during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday.
JAPAN / Society
Sep 8, 2023
Kauan Okamoto finds some closure after recognition of Kitagawa abuse
“I felt a bit better. There’s nothing more I want to say to Johnny & Associates,” Okamoto said.
Julie Keiko Fujishima (right), who stepped down as Johnny & Associates president on Tuesday, and new President Noriyuki Higashiyama give a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Society
Sep 7, 2023
Johnny's replaces president as it admits to abuse by late founder
The replacement comes on the heels of a scathing third-party report, which recommended that Julie Keiko Fujishima resign as president.
Visitors at the Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo on Aug. 25
JAPAN / Society
Sep 1, 2023
China banned seafood from Japan. Some tourists are eating it in Tokyo.
Travelers from China seem largely unfazed despite the ban, with many local seafood restaurants seeing little impact so far.
A monitor displays a news report about the death of Johnny Kitagawa in July 2019.
JAPAN / Society
Aug 30, 2023
Media respond to report on sexual abuse at Johnny and Associates
The committee said Japan's mainstream media chose to ignore Kitagawa’s sexual abuse in order to maintain access to Johnny & Associates' talent pool.
Former Prosecutor-General Makoto Hayashi (center) and two other experts speak about their investigation into Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse allegations, in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Society
Aug 29, 2023
Expert team reports on decades of sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa
The team urged Johnny & Associates President Julie Keiko Fujishima to step down after the family-run business left the issue unaddressed for decades.
Runa Tamura is taken from the Hokkaido Prefectural Police headquarters in the city to be referred to prosecutors on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Aug 16, 2023
Woman and parents sent to prosecutors over Sapporo hotel murder
Authorities believe that Runa Tamura was the only one present at the crime scene, while her parents are suspected of being accomplices.
Officials of the Meteorological Agency ask people to be vigilant about Typhoon Lan, during a news conference at the agency in Tokyo on Sunday.
Aug 14, 2023
Japan braces for another typhoon as trains and flights canceled
Typhoon Lan is poised to make landfall in central Japan on Tuesday, with the storm set to bring a month’s worth of rain in just a few days.
The streets of Kagoshima city on Wednesday amid strong winds from Typhoon Khanun.
JAPAN / Society
Aug 9, 2023
Japan prefectures drift away from posting disaster warnings on X
A growing number of prefectures have stopped posting disaster warnings on the platform due to limits on the number of free posts allowed.
Two members of the five-member U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights speak with reporters Friday in Tokyo.
JAPAN / Society
Aug 4, 2023
U.N. experts criticize Johnny’s sex abuse investigation
The experts called on the government to do more to investigate decades of suspected abuse against male idols by Johnny Kitagawa.
A conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain uses a light emitting ultraviolet rays to kill the coronavirus in 2020.
JAPAN / Society
Aug 2, 2023
Sushi chain drops suit against teen over prank video
“The customer has admitted his responsibility and we have reached a settlement with reasonable details that are acceptable to us,” a spokesperson said.
Throughout July, temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius, classified as “extremely hot days,” were recorded at 2,435 locations, making it the second-highest count for the month since the Meteorological Agency began keeping such records in 2012.
Aug 1, 2023
July in Japan saw second-highest number of days over 35 C for the month
Temperatures above 35 C were recorded at 2,435 locations, with climate change and El Nino contributing to scorching heat.
Pedestrians outside a Seibu department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district in April
BUSINESS / Companies
Jul 31, 2023
Seven & I struggles to sell slumping Sogo & Seibu department stores
The holdup is centered around the flagship Seibu department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, with the local government expressing rare opposition.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves