Former Tokyo Olympics chief facing new bribery charge

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Prosecutors issued a new arrest warrant on Tuesday against Haruyuki Takahashi, a former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee director who was already embroiled in suspected corruption cases, for allegedly taking bribes totaling 76 million yen ($54,000) from the major publisher. Kadokawa Corp.

The Tokyo prosecutor’s office has also arrested former Kadokawa director Toshiyuki Yoshihara, 64, and another person for allegedly bribing Takahashi, 78, as well as Kazumasa Fukami, 73, who heads a consulting firm, for taking it to allegedly receiving bribes from the publisher.

Photo taken in August 2022 shows Haruyuki Takahashi, a former director of the Olympic Organizing Committee in Tokyo. (TBEN)

Prosecutors are investigating whether Fukami asked Takahashi to help Kadokawa be chosen as a sponsor for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, according to sources close to the case.

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Takahashi has denied the allegation, the sources said.

Prosecutors also searched the home of the publisher’s chairman, Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, about the case.

Kadokawa Corp. Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa will speak with reporters in Tokyo on September 5, 2022, amid speculation that the Japanese publishing house has made payments to Haruyuki Takahashi, a former director of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, in exchange for preferential treatment in selection. from Olympic sponsors. (TBEN) ==TBEN

The move comes after prosecutors on Monday searched the offices of Daiko Advertising Inc., including its Osaka headquarters and branch in Osaka, on suspicion of bribery.

As with Kadokawa, the advertiser turned out to have paid a large sum of money to Fukami’s company.

Of the yen 26 million, 10 million is suspected of being used in connection with favors Daiko sought for a client company during the sponsor selection process, the sources said.

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Meanwhile, the amount Kadokawa gave to the entity was described as an advisory fee after the publisher became a sponsor of the Tokyo Games in April 2019, allowing it to publish the official guides and records of the Summer Games.

Kadokawa, the chairman, said Monday that he is not aware that his company has given bribes.

The money was for sports-related consulting fees, the 79-year-old said, adding that he didn’t think anything had been transferred to Takahashi because he “trusts (his) employees.”

On Tuesday, Takahashi, along with former chairman of clothing retailer Aoki Holdings Inc., Hironori Aoki and two others, were indicted on a separate bribery charge totaling about 51 million yen.

Prosecutors believe Takahashi, a former senior director of Japan’s largest advertising agency, Dentsu Inc., had significant influence over the marketing department of the organizing committee.

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The division, which was responsible for selecting sponsors for the summer games, borrowed many Dentsu employees.

Takahashi and his acquaintance, also a former Dentsu employee, are said to have urged the organizing committee to use Daiko as an agent when selecting sponsors. The client company, which is active in the service sector, became a sponsor in 2018.

Daiko says in a statement that it is fully cooperating with the investigation.


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