Haruyuki Takahashi, a former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive at the heart of a corruption scandal, is suspected of using close business ties between his consulting firm and another headed by an acquaintance to receive bribes from publisher Kadokawa Corp., sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
The consulting firm headed by Takahashi, 78, had business dealings regularly with the consulting firm headed by Kazumasa Fukami, 73, according to the sources. The two men are both former employees of advertising giant Dentsu Inc.
Takahashi was served a fresh arrest warrant for bribery on Tuesday.
Takahashi and Fukami are suspected of getting Kadokawa to transfer 76 million yen ($535,000) to Fukami's consulting firm between July 2019 and January 2021 after allegedly being asked by Kadokawa executive Toshiyuki Yoshihara, 64, and Kadokawa employee Kyoji Maniwa, 63, to help the publisher be selected as a sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Takahashi has denied the allegation, according to the sources.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrested Yoshihara and Maniwa on Tuesday on suspicion of bribe-giving.
Kadokawa became a sponsor in April 2019, enabling it to publish the Summer Games' official guidebooks and records. Investigators suspect the transferred money was a reward for favors.
Fukami's consulting firm was also allegedly used to receive money from Osaka-based Daiko Advertising Inc., whose offices were searched Monday.
Takahashi and Fukami are believed to have pushed for the organizing committee to use Daiko Advertising as an agent when selecting sponsors, and investigators suspect more than 10 million yen was paid by Daiko as bribes to Takahashi.
Takahashi, together with clothing retailer Aoki Holdings Inc.'s former chairman Hironori Aoki and two others, have been indicted in connection with a separate allegation of bribery involving payments totaling around 51 million yen.