Japan: Japan businessman paid $8.2 million by Tokyo Olympics bid lobbied figure at center of French corruption probe

A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, which was postponed last week due to the coronavirus, said he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid.

Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu Inc, was paid $8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, according to financial records reviewed by Reuters. Takahashi told Reuters his work included lobbying International Olympic Committee members like Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital cameras and a Seiko watch.

“They’re cheap,” he said.

The payments made Takahashi the single largest recipient of money from the Tokyo bid committee, which was mostly funded by Japanese companies.

The full original article can be found at reuters.com

(Photo REUTERS/Issei Kato/Pool/File Photo)

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