Tokyo prosecutors arrest former member of Olympic panel over suspected graft

Japanese prosecutors arrested a former member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics board, Haruyuki Takahashi, on Wednesday (Aug 17) on suspicion of receiving bribes, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office said.

Takahashi was not immediately available for comment and did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that he was suspected of receiving bribes amounting to hundreds of billions of yen from the clothing retailer Aoki Holdings.

Former chairman of Aoki Holdings, Hironori Aoki, and 2 other executives linked to the company were also arrested in connection with the case, said the prosecutor's office.

Reuters was not able to contact Aoki to ask for comment. Aoki Holdings said it was confirming the details and did not elaborate when asked for comment.

Media has reported previously that investigators were looking into whether payments of 45 million yen (SS$461,187), made between 2017 and 2021 to a company run by Takahashi, violated a law that prohibits public servants from taking money in relation to their positions.

As part of the investigation, prosecutors conducted a string of raids in late July, including at Takahashi's home and the office of advertising giant Dentsu Group.

Takahashi is a former executive of Dentsu Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Group.

A spokesperson for Dentsu Inc said the company had no immediate comment.

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