The government plans to open a hotline for male sex victims possibly in September as part of emergency steps unveiled Wednesday, with Japan's top male talent agency hit by sexual abuse claims surfacing against its late founder Johnny Kitagawa.
The temporary helpline will be established specifically for men and boys, as the government believes male sex victims could often be reluctant to bring forward their cases amid a lack of understanding over the issue among the public.
The government will also offer a consultation service with lawyers with expertise in issues arising in the arts and entertainment sectors.
The emergency measures, which are intended to prevent sex abuse of minors and young adults, were decided at a meeting of relevant ministries and agencies.
Masanobu Ogura, the meeting's chairman and minister in charge of policies related to children, said that "child sexual abuse can easily go undetected and leave people suffering long-term trauma."
"We will put measures into action, starting from those we can apply immediately," he said.
The government will also consider law revisions that would require reporting of sexual abuses, including acts deemed indecent, to authorities in nursery schools and elsewhere, and strengthen measures against cases by individuals who take advantage of their stronger positions in workplace and through kinship ties.
The latest development came as some former members of Johnny & Associates Inc. have recently come forward to claim they were molested by Kitagawa, one of the Japanese entertainment industry's most revered figures. He died in 2019 at the age of 87.
The allegations surrounding Kitagawa have garnered international attention after the BBC aired a documentary in March about the sex abuse scandal that included interviews with alleged victims.
In response to the scandal and calls for changes to the law, the government established the ministerial meeting in June, and had planned to come up with concrete measures by mid-July.