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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Chairman of publisher Kadokawa indicted over Tokyo Olympics bribes

Head suspected of paying nearly half a million dollars to former committee member

After alleged bribes, Kadokawa was named an "official supporter" of the Tokyo 2020 Games.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The chairman of major publisher Kadokawa was indicted by prosecutors on Tuesday for allegedly bribing a then-Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive in a move that will further deepen the scandal surrounding the Summer Games last year.

Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, 79, is suspected of giving 69 million yen ($477,000) in bribes to the former executive, Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, in return for the company being selected as a sponsor of the games. Kadokawa has consistently denied the allegation since his arrest on Sept. 14, according to the prosecutors.

The Tokyo prosecutors' special investigation squad has also indicted Kadokawa adviser Toshiyuki Yoshihara, 64, and 63-year-old employee, Kyoji Maniwa, for allegedly colluding with the chairman in giving bribes.

According to the indictments, they allegedly deposited funds between September 2019 and January 2021 from a bank account under the publisher's name to the consulting company headed by Kazumasa Fukami, 73, who used to work with Takahashi in the same advertising company, Dentsu.

The Kadokawa camp allegedly asked Takahashi to help the company be selected as a sponsor of the Tokyo Games, to have its sponsorship fee capped at 380 million yen at most, and to realize the swift conclusion of a sponsorship contract. Takahashi has been arrested for allegedly receiving bribes from Kadokawa.

The publisher was subsequently named an "official supporter" of the games in the books and magazines publishing services sponsorship category in April 2019.

The publisher was founded by Kadokawa's father, Genyoshi, in 1945. Its business has since diversified from an independent publishing company into an entertainment conglomerate, expanding into film and online sectors.

Besides Kadokawa, business suit retailer Aoki Holdings and Daiko Advertising are also suspected of paying a large sum of money to Fukami's consulting company.

Takahashi has been indicted on a charge of receiving around 51 million yen in bribes from Aoki and arrested for allegedly accepting some 15 million yen in bribes from Daiko.

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