4 Oct - In a recent press conference held by Johnny & Associates, it was revealed that they are establishing a new company that will help manage their performers affected monetarily by its multiple scandals.
President Noriyuki Higashiyama, who took over from Johnny Kitagawa's niece Julie K. Fujishima upon her resignation last month, stated that Johnny & Associates will change its name to Smile-Up, and will solely focus on identifying victims of the late music mogul and providing them with compensation.
Smile-Up will be dissolved after all the compensation work is completed, he said.
Meanwhile, as for the talents managed by Johnny & Associates, Higashiyama stated that a yet-to-be-named company will come in to take on the role, and "create a new future with its fans."
All subsidiary agencies and boy bands that have Johnny Kitagawa's name will change its names as well, including Johnny's Island, Johnny's Music Company, and the group Johnny's West.
As for Johnny's West, the new president stated that they will ask for ideas from the fans.
The name change came following the company losing lots of brand deals in the wake of the investigation into the late Johnny Kitagawa and the multiple sexual abuse allegations against him. NHK announced that it will not use the agency's performers until prevention measures are firmly implemented, while sponsors and brands like Nissan and McDonald's have also expressed their stance against working with the company.