Veteran singer Masahiko Kondo on Friday urged his former talent agency, Johnny & Associates Inc., to be forthcoming in responding to sexual abuse claims involving the firm's late founder.

"I hope (the agency) will not tell any lies and talk about it openly and squarely," Kondo, who was among the most popular male idols in Japan in the 1980s, was quoted as saying by an Oita Prefectural Government official.

The official said the 58-year-old singer made the remarks to reporters when he visited the Oita governor to promote a car racing event in the southwestern prefecture.

Masahiko Kondo visits the Oita Prefectural Government office on Friday | KYODO
Masahiko Kondo visits the Oita Prefectural Government office on Friday | KYODO

Fondly known as Matchy, Kondo was a veteran member of Japan's top male talent agency until leaving it in April 2021. He debuted as a singer in 1980 with his first single, "Sneaker Blues."

The allegations surrounding Johnny Kitagawa have garnered international attention after the BBC aired a documentary in March that included interviews with victims.

Former members of the agency have also come forward, saying they were sexually abused as teenagers by Kitagawa.

As the scandal grew, Julie Keiko Fujishima, the president of the company and the music mogul's niece, issued a video and written apology Sunday to those alleging sexual abuse by Kitagawa.

"First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest apologies" to those who have asserted that they are victims, Fujishima said.

She added she was unaware of Kitagawa's actions against talents affiliated with the agency.