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Johnny Kitagawa suffers stroke

TOKYO (TR) – Johnny Kitagawa, the 87-year-old president of influential talent agency Johnny & Associates, was hospitalized after suffering a stroke last month, the agency said on Monday, reports Fuji News Network (July 1).

In a statement, the agency said that Kitagawa was sent by ambulance to a hospital at around 11:30 a.m. on June 18 after experiencing physical difficulties.

Doctors later said that he suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He is continuing to receive medical care, the agency said.

Born in Los Angeles, Kitagawa first produced the boy band Johnny’s. He was later responsible for the emergence of such groups as SMAP, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP, Arashi and KinKi Kids.

Jun Matsumoto and the other four members of Arashi visited Kitagawa the day after he entered the hospital. “I am praying that Johnny-san will experience a full recovery as soon as possible,” Matsumoto was quoted by Kyodo News.