Ryuichi Hirokawa, an internationally recognized Japanese photojournalist, has admitted to sexual harassment reported by a weekly magazine, according to a publisher for which he served as a director.
The publisher of the monthly photojournalism magazine Days Japan said Wednesday it has dismissed Hirokawa, 75, as representative director after he said part of Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine's report was true, according to the company's lawyer.
The New Year issue of the weekly magazine reported that Hirokawa sexually harassed several women, including those aspiring to be photographers as well as a former assistant.
"I apologize from the bottom of my heart for people I hurt because of my insincere way of facing them," Hirokawa said in his statement posted on the publisher's website. "I did not realize that I was hurting them."
Days Japan, covering social issues in Japan and abroad, was launched in 2004 by Hirokawa and others. It announced in November it will discontinue after the March edition is published in February due to slumping sales.
Hirokawa is known particularly for his work covering the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and the situation of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.