According to NHK, two former Kadokawa top officials were detained on Tuesday on suspicion of buying off a former organiser of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic.
Toshiyuki Yoshihara, a former executive, and Kyji Maniwa, a former senior official, are suspected of paying a consultancy connected to Haruyuki Takahashi, who was detained last month on suspicion of accepting bribes from businesses to secure their sponsorship of the Games, 70 million yen (roughly US$500,000) in the past.
Before Takahashi joined the Olympic organising committee, he and Kazumasa Fukami were coworkers at Dentsu Inc. Fukami owned the business. Kadokawa’s job is said to have been secured by Takahashi through his network of connections at Dentsu, which the Tokyo Olympic organising committee hired to choose and manage the sponsors.
In April 2019, Kadokawa signed on as a “official supporter” of the Games and started issuing official programmes and results booklets. Kadokawa and the consulting agreed to a payment plan in which they would each pay the other 70 million yen over the course of ten instalments beginning in May 2019. It’s thought that Takahashi received a percentage of the funds.
On Tuesday, investigators searched the Kadokawa headquarters, Tsuguhiko Kadokawa’s residence, and the consultancy business. The four people’s denial or confirmation of the accusations has not been disclosed by Tokyo’s Special Investigation Team.
Takahashi was detained last month on suspicion of collecting bribes worth 51 million yen ($363,000) from the apparel manufacturer Aoki Holdings Inc. In addition, the Osaka-based advertising agency Daiko has drawn criticism for paying the company at least 14 million yen (about $99,600). On Monday, police searched the workplace.
According to the Japan Times, Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the chairman of Kadokawa, told reporters on Monday that the funds were only a consulting fee and that he had “absolutely no awareness on his side that the funds constituted a bribe.”
According to people with knowledge of the inquiry, Hironori Aoki, the founder of Aoki Holdings, acknowledged to the allegations of bribery while Takahashi rejected them.
Tuesday, Kadokawa said in a press release that it is treating the situation seriously and that it will completely assist the law enforcement. During the course of the inquiry, the corporation will not comment on specifics related to the matter.