A growing number of Japanese companies have been rethinking their involvement as sponsors of television programs starring members of Johnny & Associates since the largest talent agency in the country admitted that its late founder, Johnny Kitagawa, had sexually abused young members for decades.

The issue has prompted more and more advertisers to stop using the agency's stars and idols, all male. But it may also make it difficult for TV programs featuring them to find sponsors unless the entertainment giant takes preventative measures and sufficiently compensates abuse victims, people familiar with the matter said.

In a three-day survey through Thursday, Jiji Press asked around 70 companies about their sponsorship activities involving TV programs featuring Johnny & Associates talents, and received answers from 30 firms, including 12 current program sponsors.