Asia News: Johnny & Associates; Malaysia: Islamists Vs. Coldplay; Missing Ticket Sparks Suit

2023 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 2 Day 2
LISA OF BLACKPINK performs at the Coachella Stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 22, 2023 in Indio, California. A couple in Malaysia sued Live Nation and Go Live, saying they purchased two tickets for the girl group there but only one ticket was available for them. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella)


Johnny & Associates Address Allegations

Johnny & Associates Inc., one of Japan’s biggest talent agencies, has finally released a statement addressing allegations that its late founder, Johnny Kitagawa, systematically sexually abused many of the male idols it has managed over the past decades.

Though such allegations have been an open secret in Japan since at least the late 1980s, it wasn’t until the BBC broadcast a documentary in March in which several former Johnny’s artists admitted to being abused by Kitagawa. Since then, the Japanese media, which tended to avoid the topic due to Kitagawa’s powerful hold on media companies in Japan, has finally started to discuss Kitagawa’s transgressions due to pressure from fans.

The statement was issued via video by the current president of Johnny & Associates, Julie Keiko Fujishima, who is Kitagawa’s niece. Fujishima directly addressed the press conference given by former Johnny’s Japanese-Brazilian idol Kauan Okamoto where he described in detail Kitagawa’s sexual overtures when Okamoto was still a young teen.

Though Fujishima apologized to anyone who considered themselves victims of Kitagawa, she added that she herself was “not aware” of the actions described by Okamoto and others. However, she stated that she is “committed to implementing measures to address the needs of victims.”

The statement further opened the door to greater discussion of how Japanese idols are treated in the industry, since media outlets, who have vast and intricate interrelationships with talent agencies, have avoided the subject in the past. In a video posted May 15,

Okamoto expressed his appreciation of Fujishima’s apology, but added that much still needed to be done to bring the matter fully into the open and prevent such abuses from happening again in the future.


Islamist Party Vs. Coldplay

After Coldplay announced that they would include Kuala Lumpur on their upcoming Asia tour, Malaysia’s Islamist political party, PAS, announced its opposition to the concert, which, according to Asia News Network, surprised no one.

A local university professor told The Star that PAS was simply “trying to score some points with its political base with the state elections approaching.” PAS, said the professor, maintains its own “set of rules” when it comes to concerts and festivals, and reserves the authority to decide what is permissible or forbidden for true believers, but since Malaysia is a “multiracial society,” says the professor, PAS has no right to dictate what the entire country can and cannot see and hear.

Some politicians thing the same way and see PAS’s call to cancel the concert as having nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics. In any case, Coldplay, said one member of parliament “is known around the world not only for their music, but also for their humanitarian work in many countries.”

On May 10, a member of PAS questioned the government’s intentions in allowing the concert to take place, asking if the administration “wants to foster hedonism and perverse culture in [our] country.” In illustrating his point, he showed a photo of Coldplay promoting the LGBT community at a concert in London and then also showed a Tweet by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim welcoming the group to Kuala Lumpur. Anwar also has complimented the band on they work they’ve done for the environment.

The November show will be Coldplay’s first in Malaysia, and many local leaders are applauding the concert for its expected positive impact on the economy. Consequently, one categorized PAS’s objections as “ancient.” “If you don’t like Coldplay, just don’t buy tickets,” he told The Star. “But don’t stop others from enjoying their performance.”

In other Coldplay concert news, Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK) has been advising consumers not to borrow money from online lenders in order to purchase tickets to the band’s Jakarta concert, which is expensive for the average Indonesian. The OJK says that if people do plan to borrow money online they should only patronize lenders who are “supervised by the government,” according to

Illegal lenders, they say, can “obtain access to borrowers’ contacts so that they can terrorize them and people close to them.” When that happens, the government has very little recourse to protect victims. They must also take into consideration the amount of interest the lender charges.

Live Nation, Go Live Sued For Missing Ticket

A Malaysian lawyer is suing the organizers of the May 4 Blackpink concert at Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Jalil National Stadium because of a “missing seat,” according to Nas Rahman has filed a RM1 million ($220,000) lawsuit against Live Nation and Go Live after he and his wife bought two tickets for RM488 and then arrived at the venue to discover that one of the seats didn’t exist, forcing Nas to sit on the stairs for the entire show.

Apparently, other concertgoers had the same experience, while others found their view blocked by “high walls and fences.” Two days after the concert Nas demanded of the organizers a refund as well as some money in compensation, and when the two sides could not reach an agreement, he filed his lawsuit through his own law firm. He later told reporters, “If does not matter if I win or lose the case. I hope that I can show all concert organizers that their responsibilities are to their customers.”