A former senior Tokyo Olympics official and three other men were arrested in Japan on Wednesday as part of an investigation into possible bribery, prosecutors said.

Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, who was part of the Olympics organizing committee last year, is suspected of receiving the equivalent of more than 320,000 euros from Aoki Holdings, a Japanese chain of corporate costume stores, in 2017 after signing it. of a contract between his consultancy and this group, which became official partners of the Games in 2018.

They were supposed to take place in 2020 but were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Takahashi was arrested at the same time as Aoki Holdings president Hironori Aoki, 83, and two other officials from that company, according to Tokyo Procuratorate documents consulted by AFP. Takahashi is accused of accepting bribes “knowing it was a thank you for the preferential and favorable treatment” he bestowed on Aoki Holdings.

According to prosecutors, between October 2017 and March 2022, Mr. Takahashi transferred a total of 51 million yen to the bank account of a company he runs through about 50 wire transfers.

Police last month raided the homes of MM. Takahashi and Aoki and the former offices of the now defunct Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. Takahashi, a former top executive at Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, had not expected to accept any money or gifts in connection with his role as a Tokyo 2020 board member since 2014. However, he denied any conflict. Interested in the transaction with Aoki Holding.

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