Tokyo Olympics scandal net widens, prosecutors mull indictment of businessman

Mon, 27 Feb 2023 8:31 GMT
Head of Dentsu Group Inc. ‘voluntarily admits’ involvement in rigging bids over Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics scandal net widens, prosecutors mull indictment of businessman

The scandal-hit Tokyo Olympics has seen more development as another businessman has "confessed" to rigging before the global event was held in Japan in 2021.

Hiroshi Igarashi, who is president and CEO of Dentsu Group Inc., “has admitted to prosecutors the Japanese ad giant's involvement in rigging bids over the Tokyo Olympics,” unnamed sources told Kyodo News on Monday.

During questioning last Friday, Igarashi has “voluntarily” admitted to “rigging bids over contracts to plan and run pre-games test events and operate competitions during the Summer Games in 2021.”

The public prosecutors are now mulling to indict Dentsu and “five other companies on charges of violating the anti-monopoly law as early as Tuesday after receiving complaints by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.”

Several others, including Koji Hemmi, a former Dentsu executive, have been arrested so far.

Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, who was a senior official of the now-defunct Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, has also been arrested over suspicion of receiving bribes of around 51 million yen ($380,000) from major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings, one of the sponsors of last year’s summer games.

He is believed to have taken bribes “on more than 50 occasions between October 2017 and March this year.”

Takahashi, has, however, denied any wrongdoing.

He is accused of helping Hironori Aoki, a former chairman of Aoki Holdings, in getting “preferential treatment in the process of selecting sponsors.”

Aoki has also been arrested, along with two other people.


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