Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, the chair of media conglomerate Kadokawa, has been arrested on bribery charges. Taken into custody on Wednesday, the veteran executive is suspected of bribing Takahashi Haruyuki, a former director of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee and former top executive of the giant Dentsu ad agency, to the amount of JPY69 million ($483,000).
Kadokawa, a member of the company’s founding family, is accused of funneling payments to a consulting firm led by Fukami Kazumasa, another former Dentsu executive with connections to Takahashi. The objective, to secure an Olympics sponsorship deal for Kadokawa, was achieved in April of 2019, with Kadokawa publishing the official guidebooks and records for the Games.
Both Fukami and Takahashi, as well as former Kadokawa executives Yoshihara Toshiyuki and Maniwa Kyoji, who are suspected of arranging for the funds transfer from Kadokawa to Fukami’s firm, were arrested last week in connection with the bribery investigation. On Sept. 5, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko denied any knowledge of the bribery scheme.
Former prime minster and Tokyo Olympics head Mori Yoshiro has also been questioned by prosecutors about the case, but not arrested.
Kadokawa’s older brother Kadokawa Haruki turned the once staid publishing house into a major force in the Japanese film industry by making its bestsellers into hit films, starting in the 1970s. In 1994 Haruki was convicted on a drug smuggling charge and served two and a half years in prison.
After he was forced out of the company, Tsuguhiko took over as president. In 2005 he became chairman of Kadokawa Holdings (in 2013 simplified to Kadokawa), as well as head of the Kadokawa Group and its publishing house. He also served as chair of the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Kadokawa Group film arm Kadokawa Daiei Studio, together with Toho, Toei and Shochiku, belongs to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) – the industry’s most powerful organization.
Among recent films on which Kadokawa Tsukuhiko has served as producer or executive producer are the 2021 Miike Takashi fantasy “The Great Yokai War: Guardians,” the 2020 disaster drama “Fukushima 50” and the 2017 documentary “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda.”
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Originally published at variety.com