National

Well-known Japanese photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa admits to sexual harassment

Kyodo

Ryuichi Hirokawa, an internationally recognized Japanese photojournalist, has admitted to sexual harassment that was reported by a weekly magazine, according to a publisher for which he served as a director.

The publisher of the monthly photojournalism magazine Days Japan said Wednesday it has dismissed Hirokawa, 75, as representative director after he said part of Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine’s report was true, according to the company’s lawyer.

The New Year issue of the weekly magazine reported that Hirokawa sexually harassed several women, including those aspiring to be photographers as well as a former assistant.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart for people I hurt because of my insincere way of facing them,” Hirokawa said in his statement posted on the publisher’s website. “I did not realize that I was hurting them.”

Covering social issues in Japan and abroad, Days Japan was launched in 2004 by Hirokawa and others. It announced in November it will discontinue after the March edition is published, in February, due to slumping sales.

Hirokawa is particularly known for his work covering the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and the circumstances of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Kumejima Museum in Kumejima Island, Okinawa Prefecture, said Thursday that it will cancel an exhibition of Hirokawa’s works, which had been scheduled to be held at the museum starting Jan. 4.