Former Tokyo Games Exec Haruyuki Takahashi Pleads Not Guilty over Bribery

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Haruyuki Takahashi

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A former executive of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee pleaded not guilty to receiving bribes from companies in the first hearing of his trial at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday.

The former executive, Haruyuki Takahashi, 79, is suspected of leading the series of bribery cases over the Tokyo Games, in which 15 people were indicted.

According to the indictment, Takahashi received a total of about ¥200 million between October 2017 and March 2022 from five companies, including major apparel company Aoki Holdings Inc., after being asked by them for special treatment, including over sponsorship contracts for the Games, held in 2021.

Takahashi, a former executive of Dentsu Inc., had engaged in sports business at the advertising giant for a long time. After leaving Dentsu, he ran a consulting firm and took the post at the organizing committee in June 2014.

Members of the Tokyo Games organizing committee were defined by law as quasi-public servants and banned from receiving money or goods in relation to their duties.

Of the 15 people indicted, 11 admitted to charges against them and their guilty rulings have become final.

They include a former head of another consulting firm, which was used to receive bribes, and former executives of four companies, including Aoki, that gave bribes.