The media silence surrounding allegations of child sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa has ended. Praise should go to the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, whose refusal to look the other way has kept Kitagawa’s alleged behaviour in the public realm. But it was an appearance by Kauan Okamoto, a Japanese-Brazilian artist formerly of the Johnny & Associates stable, that spurred Japan’s mainstream media into action, with national newspapers and broadcasters running reports based on his allegations. In this issue of the Number 1 Shimbun, David McNeill explains why the code of omerta has been broken. In our cover story, the same writer looks at allegations that the government of Shinzo Abe leaned on the media to ensure favourable coverage – claims that continue to plague the communications minister at the time, Sanae Takaichi. Elsewhere, Suvendrini Kakuchi reviews a Book Break by our much-loved colleague Monzurul Huq, and Kathryn Graham looks back on her time as a Tokyo correspondent in an extract from her new book, Memoirs of a Mask Maker. In their regular columns, Philip Brasor and Masako Tsubuku delve into the murky world of false convictions, while Eric Johnson reports on the G7 environment ministers’ meeting in Hokkaido. Roger Schreffler revisits Nissan’s role in the fall of Carlos Ghosn, while Anthony Rowley provides a primer on the history and role of the G7 network, just weeks before the group’s leaders meet in Hiroshima.
Cover artwork: Julio Shiiki - Image source: Unsplash