Sources: Kadokawa asked favors of a former Games director

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Kadokawa Corp logo. can be seen in the Chiyoda district, Tokyo, on September 6.

A former director of Kadokawa Corp. and another executive from the major publishing house reportedly called for the company to be selected as a Tokyo 2020 sponsor during a meeting with Haruyuki Takahashi, a former board member of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Organizing Committee. Tokyo, according to sources.

We also learn that Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, 79, president of the company, is suspected of having agreed to pay a commission to Takahashi, 78, who was arrested on suspicion of corruption.

The Tokyo District Procuratorate seized internal documents from Kadokawa and is investigating the details of the case.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Kadokawa allegedly conspired with Toshiyuki Yoshihara, 64, a former director of the company, and Kyoji Maniwa, 63, who was then a section chief in charge of Games-related cases in the company.

Kadokawa was arrested on suspicion of corruption for allegedly asking for favors from Takahashi in the selection of sponsorships and other matters, and offering around 69 million yen from September 2019 to January 2021 as a reward for its lobbying efforts with the organizing committee.

According to the sources, around April 2016, Yoshihara and Maniwa went to the office of a consulting firm run by the arrested Games official in Tokyo. At the office, they met Takahashi and Kazumasa Fukami, the chairman of another consulting firm and a former colleague of Takahashi’s when the pair worked at advertising giant Dentsu Inc.

Fukami, 73, was also arrested on suspicion of corruption.

At the meeting, Yoshihara and Maniwa reportedly asked Takahashi to select Kadokawa Corp. as a sponsor of the Games and would have discussed the cost.

Fukami allegedly told Kadokawa Corp. that the company should pay 280 million yen in sponsorship fees to the organizing committee and 70 million yen to Fukami’s consulting firm.

Documents explaining the payment plan and other details, including meeting with Takahashi and others, have been compiled by Kadokawa Corp. and were reportedly reported in Kadokawa. The publisher’s president would have accepted the payment.

In April 2019, the company signed a sponsorship contract with the organizing committee. The company paid 280 million yen to the organizing committee and a total of about 76 million yen to Fukami’s company.

Kadokawa denied the charges, saying the payment to the company was a consulting fee based on a legitimate contract, and that he was unaware it was a bribe.

Takahashi and Fukami also deny the charges.

Former JOC president interviewed

The prosecution also questioned Tsunekazu Takeda, 74, former president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and vice-president of the organizing committee, on a voluntary basis, sources said.

Takahashi became a board member of the organizing committee in June 2014.

The prosecutor’s office reportedly questioned Takeda about the circumstances surrounding Takahashi’s appointment as a board member and his duties and authority.