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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo Olympic executive's home searched over dubious money from sponsor

Former organizing committee member believed to have received $330,000 from retailer

Japan on July 23 marked one year since the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, postponed by a year due to the pandemic.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prosecutors searched the Tokyo home of an executive of the now-defunct Tokyo Olympic organizing committee on Tuesday, in connection with tens of millions of yen he received from a sponsor of last year's global sports event.

Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, is believed to have received around 45 million yen ($330,000) from major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings after a company run by him reached a consulting deal with it. Aoki's Olympic sponsorship was announced about a year later.

Investigators are looking into the flow of funds and what influence it had on the holding of the sporting event, as Takahashi was deemed a quasi-civil servant in his capacity as an executive of the committee. Accepting money or gifts related to his duties could constitute bribery.

According to sources familiar with the case, the consulting firm headed by Takahashi signed a contract with Aoki worth 1 million yen per month in September 2017. Aoki announced in October 2018 that it had sealed an "official supporter" deal with the Olympic organizing committee.

Takahashi has so far denied any wrongdoing in interviews with Kyodo News.

Japan on Saturday marked one year since the opening of the Tokyo Games, which were postponed by a year from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organizing committee was disbanded at the end of last month.

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