Tokyo Olympic bribery scandal rolls on; company apologizes

Feb 1, 2023, 11:33 AM | Updated: Feb 2, 2023, 2:10 am

FILE - Workers prepare to remove giant Olympic rings from the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park...

FILE - Workers prepare to remove giant Olympic rings from the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park after 2020 Summer Olympics came to an end on Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. A Japanese company embroiled in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic corruption scandal said Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, it would strengthen oversight to prevent further wrongdoing. (Kim Kyung-hoon/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Kim Kyung-hoon/Pool Photo via AP, File)

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese company embroiled in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic corruption scandal said Thursday it would strengthen oversight to prevent further wrongdoing.

Kadokawa “seriously betrayed public trust,” company president Takeshi Natsuno said. He bowed deeply with two other executives to show remorse in a news conference.

Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the son of the founder, was arrested in September on suspicion of bribing Haruyuki Takahashi, a member of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, with 69 million yen ($480,000).

Kadokawa Group was chosen as an Olympic sponsor and published the Games program and guidebooks.

Takahashi is a former executive at the Japanese advertising company Dentsu, which played a key role in 2013 in landing the Olympics for Tokyo, and then became the Tokyo Games marketing arm.

Takahashi was arrested and released from jail after being held for about four months. Japanese media say he is denying the corruption charges.

He also faces bribery allegations in connection with several companies tied to the Tokyo Olympics: Aoki Holdings, a clothing company that dressed Japan’s Olympic team; Daiko Advertising Inc., ADK Marketing Solutions, and Sun Arrow, which produced the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic mascots named Miraitowa and Someity.

Any trials are likely to be slow moving as the Japanese court process tends to be drawn out, and more than a dozen people are involved.

Prosecutors say Takahashi acted in ways to favor the companies with sponsorships and other benefits related to the Olympics in return for the bribes.

Prosecutors say, besides the bribery scandal, a separate probe is ongoing into bid-rigging and the choice of venues for Olympic test events.

The sprawling corruption allegations surrounding Tokyo have caused the bid by the northern Japanese city of Sapporo for the 2030 Winter Games to be placed “on hold.”

Sapporo was considered the favorite for 2030, partially because of Japan’s reliability and heavy spending to hold the delayed Tokyo Games.

The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is reported to have Salt Lake City as the lone candidate to hold the 2030 Games.

Salt Lake organizers have said they would prefer 2034, not wanting to directly follow Los Angeles, which will hold the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The official price tag for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was $13 billion, although a government audit suggested real costs might be twice that much. About 60% of Tokyo Olympic spending was public money.

The Games were postponed for a year and held in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


More AP sports: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Tokyo Olympic bribery scandal rolls on; company apologizes