Japan arrests individuals responsible for Tokyo Olympics corruption scandal

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic sponsor fee for Japanese fashion company Aoki Holdings was less than half the standard fee, news agency Kyodo reported on Thursday, one day after the arrest of the former Aoki chairman on suspicion of bribery.

In becoming a sponsor for the Tokyo 2020 Games, Aoki Holdings paid JPY 500 mln (EUR 3,65 mln) - less than half what the other sponsors paid, according to the report.

Tokyo prosecutors arrested on Wednesday former chairman of Aoki Holdings Hironori Aoki, the former member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics board Haruyuki Takahashi and two other executives on suspicion of bribery.

TV Asahi reported on Thursday that Mr Takahashi denied the bribery charges of the prosecutors. A spokesperson for the prosecutors explained they cannot comment on the ongoing investigations.

Aoki Holdings wrote in a statement on Thursday that it is fully cooperating with prosecutors but cannot comment further as the investigation was ongoing.

Prosecutors said in a statement onWednesday that a total of JPY 51 mln (EUR 370,000) had been sent from the bank account of Hironori Aoki's asset management firm to the bank account of a company run by Mr Takahashi.

Reuters reported in 2020 that Mr Takahashi, who was paid millions of dollars to work on Tokyo’s successful bid for the Olympics, said he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker who was later suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid.

Mr Takahashi told Reuters at that time his work included lobbying International Olympic Committee member Lamine Diack to whom he gave gifts, including digital cameras and a Seiko watch.

He then was recorded saying that there was nothing improper with the payments he received nor with the way he used the money.

Mr Diack died at the age of 88 last year.