Ex-Kadokawa Chm. Sues Japan Govt for “Hostage Justice”

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tsuguhiko Kadokawa speaks to reporters on Sept. 5, 2022.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—A former chairman of major Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corp. on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government, claiming that he experienced mental suffering through “hostage justice” over a bribery scandal related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held in 2021.

Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, 80, who was arrested and indicted over the scandal, filed the suit with Tokyo District Court, demanding the country pay ¥220 million in compensation.

He claimed that the way he was treated went against Article 34 of Japan’s Constitution, which bans unjust detainment, and Article 31, which stipulates the principle of presumption of innocence.

On Sept. 14, 2022, Kadokawa was arrested by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for allegedly bribing Haruyuki Takahashi, 80, a former Tokyo Games organizing committee executive. Kadokawa was indicted the following month. Takahashi is on trial for alleged bribe-taking.

Kadokawa has insisted on his innocence. His detention lasted for more than seven months until he was released on bail on April 27, 2023.

In the complaint, Kadokawa said that it was illegal for public prosecutors to arrest and detain him without considering that he was scheduled to undergo a surgery for an issue with his heart.

He also said that court judges failed to correctly determine the necessity of his arrest.

Furthermore, Kadokawa said that despite him losing consciousness on one occasion, the prosecutors opposed his bail and the judges rejected his bail requests multiple times.

Saying that his legal action is a public-interest lawsuit to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again, Kadokawa announced that if his demand for compensation is approved by court, he will donate the money to improve medical care at detention centers.

Also on Thursday, a group of lawyers reported the situation of Kadokawa’s detention to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the U.N. Human Rights Council, with an aim of prompting an international investigation.