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Kadokawa Chair Tsuguhiko Kadokawa Arrested for Alleged Bribery for Olympic Sponsorship

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Investigators: Kadokawa paid 70 million yen in consulting fees to firm linked to former Olympic organizing committee member

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office arrested Kadokawa chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa on Wednesday on suspicion of bribing a former member of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics organizing committee.

The company is suspected of paying around 69 million yen (about US$480,000) to a consultancy linked to Haruyuki Takahashi, who was arrested last month on suspicion of accepting bribes from companies to secure their sponsorship for the Games.

The firm belonged to Kazumasa Fukami, who once worked together with Takahashi at Dentsu Inc. before Takahashi became a member of the Olympic organizing committee. Takahashi allegedly used his network of contacts at Dentsu, which the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee commissioned to select and handle the sponsors, to secure Kadokawa's position.

Kadokawa became an "official supporter" of the Games in April 2019, and published the official programmes (pictured right) and results books. According to sources linked to the investigation, Kadokawa signed a deal with the consultancy to pay 69 million yen in 10 installments starting from May 2019. A portion of the money is believed to have been transferred to Takahashi.

Former Kadokawa executive Toshiyuki Yoshihara and former senior official Kyо̄ji Maniwa were arrested last Tuesday as part of the ongoing scandal. Prosecutors raided Kadokawa's head office, the home of chairman Kadokawa, and the consulting firm. Tokyo's Special Investigation Team has not revealed whether the four individuals confirmed or denied the charges.

Takahashi was arrested last month on suspicion of accepting 51 million yen (about US$363,000) in bribes from clothing company Aoki Holdings Inc. The Osaka-based advertising firm Daiko has also come under scrutiny for paying at least 14 million yen (about US$99,600) to the firm.

Japan Times reported that Kadokawa Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa claimed to reporters last Monday that the money was just a consultancy fee and that there was "absolutely no recognition on his part that the money constituted a bribe."

NHK reported that, according to sources linked to the investigation, Takahashi denied charges of bribery, while Aoki Holdings founder Hironori Aoki admitted to it.

Kadokawa announced in a press release last Tuesday that it is taking the matter very seriously and intends to fully cooperate with the authorities. The company will refrain from commenting on details surrounding the case while the investigation is ongoing.

Source: Fuji News Network via Hachima Kikо̄

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