In this issue

Justin McCurry

In April, when a brave young man told reporters at the FCCJ about the years of sexual abuse Johnny Kitagawa had inflicted on him, few of us could have predicted the repercussions his testimony would have for the Japanese media, and for the omnipresent talent factory – Johnny & Associates – Kitagawa founded in the early 1960s. One of the few domestic media outlets to have pursued abuse claims long before it was considered “safe” to do so was the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun. In this month’s cover story, David McNeill interviews Daisuke Takahashi, one of the Bunshun reporters who pursued Kitagawa when most other journalists pretended there was nothing to investigate. In an accompanying piece, Karyn Nishimura, who attended last month’s marathon press conference by Julie Fujishima and her replacement as the agency’s president, Noriyuki Higashiyama, explains why Kitagawa’s abuse was hidden in plain sight for so long. Elsewhere in this issue, Azby Brown looks at how Chinese state media have whipped up irrational fears of the Fukushima water discharge, and Isao Kinoshita bids a fond farewell to his former employer, Osaka Nichinichi Shimbun, which closed in July. In their regular columns, Philip Brasor suggests the proliferation of high-rise apartment blocks in Tokyo is storing up trouble for the future, while Eric Johnston reports on the Hokkaido seafood sector's struggles following China’s recent ban on Japanese marine produce. In the latest of his walks through history, Mark Schreiber revisits the scene of a 1945 bombing that, days later, would have devastating consequences for Japan.

Artwork by Julio Shiiki