Arrests for Tokyo Games-related bribes are on the rise

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Japanese authorities decided on Tuesday to extend the jail term of a former executive of the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and arrested three other people in connection with a bribery network, in a new scandal that has rocked the sporting event.

Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, and a member of the board of directors of the organizing committee of the event held in the summer of 2021, was arrested on August 17 allegedly due to receiving money from the well-known Japanese suit store chain Aoki for consulting services.

This Tuesday, the Japanese prosecutor’s office issued a new arrest warrant against him after finding indications that he also received money from a Japanese publisher, Kadokawa, worth 76 million yen (about 530,000 euros), according to local media.

Both in this case and in Aoki’s company, where Takahashi received 51 million yen (370,000 euros)the money would have been delivered to the former executive in exchange for giving both companies preferential treatment in the sponsor selection process for the Tokyo Olympics.

Takahashi joined the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee in June 2014, after the Japanese capital won its bid the previous year.

A former manager of Japan’s largest advertising agency that also helped organize the Games, Dentsu, Takahashi is a well-known figure in Japan’s sports world and one of the key figures in the now-defunct Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. committee.

The Japanese prosecutor’s office also today ordered the arrest of a former Kadokawa manager, Toshiyuki Yoshiharaand Kyoji Maniwa, head of a department of this publisher whose headquarters are also under police investigation.

In addition, authorities have arrested Kazumasa Fukami, head of a consultancy allegedly involved in a corruption case, and are looking into another advertising company, Daiko Advertising, which may also be part of the bribery ring.

The Japanese media also pointed that out corruption may even reach the former president of the organizing committee and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiro Mori, whose role in the case is being investigated by authorities.

The arrests add to a long list of scandals that have affected the Tokyo Games and that prompted the departure of several high-profile figures linked to the organization of the event.

These include the resignation in 2019 of the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, who was involved in a case of buying votes between other national committees to favor the Tokyo candidacy, or of the aforementioned Mori, because on controversial sexist comments. Only 5 months after the opening of the Olympic event.

Source: La Verdad

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