The most recent charges revolve on 76 million yen that a former member of the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics got from the Kadokawa publishing house in Tokyo.
In a case involving alleged payments from a publisher that later became a sponsor for the Games, Japanese prosecutors “re-arrested” Takahashi Haruyuki on Tuesday, expanding the scope of the charges of bribery against the former member of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee.
According to Tokyo District prosecutors, Takahashi earned 76 million yen ($540,000) from the Tokyo-based publishing business Kadokawa. The sponsorship made it possible for Kadokawa, which also creates video games and films, to publish books and other publications on the Tokyo Olympics.
Two Kadokawa employees who reportedly deposited the money, Yoshihara Toshiyuki and Maniwa Kyoji, were also detained on Tuesday.
Since his arrest last month on charges of accepting bribes from the garment maker Aoki Holdings, Takahashi has been held in custody. He was formally accused of accepting $360,000 worth of bribery from Aoki on Tuesday.
Charges of paying bribes were also brought against three Aoki employees. In an effort for Aoki to become an Olympic sponsor and produce licenced goods, the funds were put into a bank account of Takahashi’s business between October 2017 and March of this year, according to the prosecution.
When other countries had top fashion houses creating uniforms, Aoki, who creates “recruit suits” that high school graduates wear for job interviews, was a surprising choice to clothe the Japanese Olympic squad.
The owner of a consulting business, Fukami Kazumasa, was detained on suspicion of aiding Takahashi in receiving the payments.
The Olympic sponsorships were arranged with a great deal of influence by Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu.
In spite of resigning from the Dentsu board in 2009, Takahashi maintained a substantial impact in Japan’s advertising and event management industries and ran his own business.
Takahashi has not made himself accessible for comment, but according to certain Japanese media accounts, he has maintained his innocence and claimed that the payments were made for consultancy services.
The chairman of Kadokawa, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, who is not directly included in the accusations, denied any payments were given by his business, according to Japanese media.
Tokyo prosecutors searched Daiko Advertising’s offices in Osaka and Tokyo on Monday as part of their probe into possible Olympic misconduct. In the Daiko case, no one has been taken into custody.
The issue is probably going to hurt Japan’s hopes for Sapporo hosting the Winter Olympics in 2030. Olympian and legislator Hashimoto Seiko, who oversaw the Tokyo Olympics, has pledged to assist the probe.
In the summer of 2021, Tokyo held the postponed Olympics and Paralympics amid much hoopla and controversy for its astronomical expenditures. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Games were delayed by a year and staged without any public ticket sales.
The official cost of the Tokyo Games last year was $13 billion, the majority of which came from public funds.