4th indictment against Haruyuki Takahashi over Tokyo Olympic Games bribes

AP file photo
Haruyuki Takahashi, executive board member of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrives at a board meeting in Tokyo on March 30.

The 2020 Tokyo Games bribery investigation has effectively ended with a fourth indictment against Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive board member of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee.

Takahashi, 78, was named in the indictment for accepting bribes worth about ¥54 million from a major advertising company and a firm that sold stuffed toys of the Games’ mascots. The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office filed the indictment in the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday.

Overall in the four indictments, Takahashi is suspected of accepting about ¥198 million in bribes through five sources. In total, three people including Takahashi have been indicted related to receiving bribes and 12 for giving them. Takahashi has denied all the charges against him.

The latest indictment relates to bribes allegedly paid to Takahashi by ADK Holdings Inc. and Sun Arrow Inc.

The special investigation squad indicted three former ADK executives including former President Shinichi Ueno, 68, on suspicion of giving bribes, and indicted without arrest Sun Arrow’s former President Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, 74, and Taiji Sekiguchi, 50, who was relieved of his duties as president of the company on Wednesday.

Joji Matsui, 75, an acquaintance of Takahashi and a former head of a now dissolved consulting firm, was indicted without arrest as an accomplice for letting Takahashi use the firm to receive some of the bribes.

The other ADK executives indicted are Shigeharu Hisamatsu, 63, and Toshiaki Tada, 60.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

According to the indictment and other sources, Takahashi received about ¥47 million in bribes from ADK between November 2017 and January 2022. This money was paid to a consulting firm Takahashi headed called Commons and other recipients in return for Takahashi helping ADK be selected as an agency handling Games sponsorship contracts and other related work. Takahashi allegedly received about ¥7 million from Sun Arrow between October 2018 and April 2021 after being asked to help the company with licenses to sell merchandise of stuffed toys of the official Games mascots.

About ¥27 million of this ¥54 million was transferred to Matsui’s then dormant company.

Takahashi had been indicted three times earlier for allegedly receiving ¥51 million from Aoki Holdings Inc., which mainly runs menswear outlets; about ¥76 million from major publishing firm Kadokawa Corp.; and about ¥15 million from Daiko Advertising Inc. Some of the money was funneled to a company run by Takahashi’s acquaintance.