Stuffed toy firm allegedly gave bribes to ex-Tokyo Olympics executive

A company that was responsible for selling officially licensed stuffed toys of the Tokyo Olympics mascots is suspected of giving several million yen to a former executive of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, investigative sources said Friday, in a spate of bribery scandals involving last year’s Summer Games .

Prosecutors were probing whether Haruyuki Takahashi had lobbied the committee to extend favor to Sun Arrow Inc. over the sale of stuffed toys for the world sports event, the sources said.

The latest revelation came after Takahashi, 78, was indicted earlier this month for receiving bribes totaling around 51 million yen ($356,000) from business suit retailer Aoki Holdings Inc.

Photo shows stuffed toys of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games mascots sold by Sun Arrow Inc. (Photo courtesy of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games)(Kyodo)

He was also served with a fresh arrest warrant for allegedly accepting bribes totaling 76 million yen from major publishing company Kadokawa Corp.

Additionally, Takahashi, a former senior managing director of Japan’s largest advertising agency Dentsu Inc., is under suspicion of requesting the use of ADK Holdings Inc. and Daiko Advertising Inc. regarding sponsor selection.

Investigators are expected to question those familiar with the advertising agencies’ roles as early as next week.

Sun Arrow is known for selling stuffed toys depicting characters from Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” among others, and also distributed stuffed toys of the mascots from the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.


Related coverage:

Ex-JOC chief Takeda questioned over Tokyo Olympics corruption case

Kadokawa chairman arrested over Tokyo Olympics bribery scandal

Ex-Japan PM Mori asked about Tokyo Olympics corruption


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