Tokyo Games Bid-rigging Suspect Reports Prospected Bids to Superior

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yasuo Mori

Yasuo Mori, former deputy executive director of the Tokyo Games organizing committee’s Operations Bureau, showed a superior a list of prospective bids for pre-Games events around spring 2018 and changed the bidding format at his superior’s behest, sources have said.

Mori, 55, has been arrested on suspicion of violating the Antimonopoly Law. He was directed by his superior to change the bidding format and told that advertising giant Dentsu Inc. planned to bid on “too many” events, the sources said.

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office now believes the superior’s advice prompted Mori to accelerate the arrangement of who would win certain bids.

According to the sources, Mori showed the superior a list of different companies’ bidding plans prior to the bidding on planning work for test events. At that time, the assumption was that bidding would be conducted on a competition-by-competition basis.

The supervisor told Mori there were “too many events that Dentsu is expected to bid on” and said “bidding must be submitted on a venue-by-venue basis, not competition-by-competition.”

In response, Mori and former Dentsu senior official Koji Henmi, 55, rapidly accelerated their work to arrange who would win which bids. Henmi has also been arrested on suspicion of violating the Antimonopoly Law.

Because multiple test competitions would often be held at a single venue, Mori allegedly revised the list frequently in the process of changing the bidding format to a venue-by-venue basis, for example, rearranging the assignment of prime contractors and subcontractors.

Mori would report to the superior that companies “would likely make bids” under these arrangements.

The special investigation squad has questioned the superior on a voluntary basis. He is said to have denied any involvement in arranging bids.

The superior also denied wrongdoing in response to The Yomiuri Shimbun’s inquires, saying: “I had no knowledge of any rigging going on. The investigative authorities understand this point.”

“I told [Mori] to prevent bid rigging from happening,” the superior said. However, when he was asked whether Mori showed him a list, he responded, “I won’t say.”