Iconic Japanese filmmaker and comedian Takeshi Kitano said Wednesday that the country's entertainment industry has always tended to treat performers as commodities, with its traditional hierarchical structure often facilitating abuse of power.

Reflecting on the sexual abuse scandal involving the late Johnny Kitagawa, as well as the recent suspected suicide of an actress with the Takarazuka musical theater, Kitano, 76, said that since long ago, entering the Japanese entertainment world "was seen as something in which bad treatment happens."

"For myself as well, from the time I entered the field of comedy and entertainment here in Japan, there have been periods when it was not possible to laugh," Kitano, known by his stage name Beat Takeshi, said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.