Talent Agency Under Fire Over Performer's Assault

Talent agency under fire over performer's assault

A Japanese talent agency is under fire for its seemingly lukewarm response to the assault of a young female performer. Maho Yamaguchi of NGT48, a girl group based in Niigata Prefecture, was assaulted by two male fans in December.

NGT48 is a sister group of the popular Tokyo-based girl group AKB48.

The men allegedly went to the entrance of her home and grabbed her face. They were arrested, but later released without being charged. Police quote them as saying that they just wanted to talk to Yamaguchi.

The incident came to light when Yamaguchi wrote in a tweet last Wednesday that she had been assaulted after a performance.

She also wrote that her talent agency had not taken action, even though nearly a month had passed since the attack.

Her tweets made fans anxious. Yamaguchi appeared on stage Thursday and apologized for "causing trouble." But the apology made fans even more concerned.

AKS, the talent agency, released a statement later that day. It indicated that another member of NGT48 had given the male fans information, which had helped them determine when Yamaguchi would return home.

NGT48 took part in an event in Niigata City on Saturday, but Yamaguchi and some other members were absent.

Former members of the group are siding with fans and criticizing the agency's response.