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Japan to investigate Olympic payment claim

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Japan on Friday said it would question officials involved in Tokyo's successful 2020 Olympics bid after French prosecutors launched a probe into an alleged illicit payment linked to the campaign.

[TOKYO] Japan on Friday said it would question officials involved in Tokyo's successful 2020 Olympics bid after French prosecutors launched a probe into an alleged illicit payment linked to the campaign.

"We will further work to confirm facts," top Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told a regular press conference, citing the French investigation.

Olympic Minister Toshiaki Endo also told journalists that the government's Sports Agency will speak to officials from the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japanese Olympic Committee.

However, Mr Suga and Mr Endo both said they were confident that no wrongdoing occurred, based on previous declarations by officials.

French investigators on Thursday said they suspect that US$2 million paid to a son of disgraced former world athletics supremo Lamine Diack was intended to win support for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics bid.

AFP