• MISATO SASAKI

Japanese Idols Take Actions Against COVID-19

Updated: Aug 14

May 30, 2020

Misato Sasaki


Johnny & Associates, the top agency of Japanese entertainment, started their social contribution to counter the spread of COVID-19 in Japan. They have produced many artist groups to the public, made them appear to many exciting TV programs and produced many wonderful concerts. Currently, the number of Japanese artists are contributing to COVID-19 in the Japanese entertainment industry, but Johnny & Associates was the pioneer of social activities.


How Did They Contribute?

At first, Johnny & Associates launched the project called Johnny’s Smile Up! Project. In the past, they have organized the J FRIENDS Project at the time of Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 and the Marching J Project at the time of Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

But this time, the company launched the project to contribute to much wider range of society. In March 2020, they started using Instagram and YouTube to deliver various artists videos to make people happy, including free video clips from past concert. The company’s sales were significantly damaged by COVID-19 but started various activities without seeking profit.

In addition, social contribution is not limited to show biz area, which made their initiative very characteristic. They quickly delivered a video of their artists encouraging hand-washing practices. It was a fun dance that even small children would imitate, and the washing method was based on the recommendation by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Also, their artists interviewed a Dr. Yuji Kondo who work at the Japanese Red Cross Society using a videophone and delivered the content in a video. Those videos educated and encouraged us to stay home. They successfully tell the latest situation of the society to young people who do not usually read the newspapers.


Why Did the Company Become a Hot Topic?

Most popular social contribution provided by the Johnny & Associates is the support for medical institutions. They procured medical masks and protective gowns worth 330 million yen and donated them to the medical institutions nationwide. Under such circumstances, medical masks and protective gowns were difficult to obtain in Japan, but the agency was able to obtain them by taking advantage of their ties with China. The purchasing fund were raised by an online event.


Arashi’s Waku Waku School

In May, Johnny & Associates held an event called Waku Waku School. In this show, Arashi, the company’s most popular group, conducts some virtual classes that are suitable for the current social situation. They had been hosting the charity event until last year to support the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. They decided to revive this event series to counter COVID-19. They procured masks and protective gowns from the proceeds of this event.

The first class was titled “let’s deliver thank you; now is the time” and Arashi encouraged audience to thank the medical staffs and those essential workers who deliver food in a difficult situation. The second class was titled “let’s learn about the coronavirus” and Arashi explained what the coronavirus was and how it infected people. The third class was titled “let’s move your body” to solve the lack of exercise due to the long stay home period. The fourth class was titled “let’s think about the meaning of waiting” and Arashi persuaded audience the importance of “waiting” even during the time that people might want to go out. The fifth class was titled “let’s draw a picture,” which lead people to find the new perspective by themselves in their stay-home days. Through these classes, they encouraged younger people to stay home and told them how to enjoy every day at home.

In this way, Johnny & Associates contribute to the society outside of their core show business. The COVID-19 had a lot of negative impacts on human beings, but, because of these contributions, it became a good opportunity for this company to grow.


Reference:

Johnny & Associates HP

https://www.johnny-associates.co.jp/

Jonny’s net

https://www.johnnys-net.jp/

NHK NEWS WEB

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200504/k10012417001000.html




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