Tokyo Olympics bribery arrests widens to third Japan sponsor

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TOKYO (AP) — Bribery allegations towards a former Tokyo Olympics arranging committee member ensnared a 3rd firm that sponsored the Games, as Japanese prosecutors “re-arrested” Haruyuki Takahashi for the third time Tuesday. The latest allegations of dubious payments center on 15 million yen ($104,000) Takahashi and a further official received […]

TOKYO (AP) — Bribery allegations towards a former Tokyo Olympics arranging committee member ensnared a 3rd firm that sponsored the Games, as Japanese prosecutors “re-arrested” Haruyuki Takahashi for the third time Tuesday.

The latest allegations of dubious payments center on 15 million yen ($104,000) Takahashi and a further official received from Daiko Advertising and marketing Inc., centered in Osaka, central Japan, Tokyo District Prosecutors claimed in a assertion.

The arrests, coming on the identical day as the point out funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is drawing overseas dignitaries including IOC President Thomas Bach and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, underline the perseverance of the prosecutors to get to the base of the Olympic scandal.

Japanese society generally favors “saving deal with,” and humiliation on the international stage tends to be avoided. The arrests are also possible a setback for Japan’s ambitions in bidding for the 2030 Winter season Olympics for Sapporo.

A Daiko formal was also arrested. Daiko apologized for the arrests, “for the trouble to consumers and stakeholders,” and promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Daiko is the third organization in the widening Olympic scandal, immediately after Aoki Holdings, a apparel company that dressed the Japanese Olympic crew, and major publisher Kadokawa.

With extra than 50 firms that sponsored the Tokyo Olympics, speculation is rife about a string of arrests that could carry on for months.

Takahashi, 78, a previous government at promotion firm Dentsu, has been detained due to the fact his original arrest on Aug. 17 on bribery suspicions from Aoki totaling 51 million yen ($350,000).

Aoki, which will make cheap satisfies, was a surprise pick to generate the group outfits. A few Aoki officials ended up also arrested.

Final thirty day period, prosecutors re-arrested Takahashi, tagging on extra bribery allegations, this time from Kadokawa, which also can make flicks and games, totaling 76 million yen ($530,000).

The sponsorship allowed Kadokawa to publish courses and other publications associated to the Tokyo Olympics. Also arrested have been two Kadokawa officers.

Eight days afterwards, prosecutors arrested Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the corporation chairman, on allegations of bribing Takahashi with 69 million yen ($480,000). Kadokawa asserted his innocence.

Takahashi has already been formally charged with bribery in the Aoki payments. On Tuesday, he was formally charged in the Kadokawa payments.

Kazumasa Fukami, the head of a consulting business who was arrested with Takahashi in the Kadokawa case, was re-arrested in the Daiko situation.

Prosecutors say Takahashi acted in ways to favor the businesses in enterprise positive aspects related to the Olympics in return for the bribes.

Dragging out a suspect’s time in detention, by including more prices, which is prevalent in Japan, has been greatly criticized by human legal rights activists as “hostage justice.” Analysts say Takahashi, if freed on bail, may perhaps wipe out proof.

Takahashi experienced great clout in arranging Olympic sponsorships, while he still left the Dentsu board in 2009. He has not been readily available for comment.

Tokyo hosted the Olympics and Paralympics in the summertime of 2021, just after a one-year postponement simply because of the pandemic. The formal price tag tag was $13 billion, mostly general public money. Critics say the burden on taxpayers may well have been larger.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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Far more AP athletics: https://apnews.com/hub/athletics and https://twitter.com/AP_Athletics

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