At 11 p.m. in late July, a black Maybach pulled up in front of a mansion in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, a former senior managing director of Dentsu, sat in the back seat, holding up a thick wallet to hide his face. The reporter called out to him through the window, but he only gave us a quick glance. The car drove into the grounds of the mansion.
Why am I in this …… mess? The face that peeked out from behind his wallet seemed to be filled with anger at the allegations being made against him.
The “Don of the Olympics” is in a tight spot. Takahashi, who served as a board member of the Organizing Committee for the 2009 Tokyo Olympics, is under suspicion of accepting a bribe from AOKI Holdings, a major men’s clothing company, during the selection process for sponsors.
In September 2005, about a year before the sponsorship of the Olympics was decided, Mr. Takahashi signed a contract with AOKI Holdings at his consulting company, Commons. In September 2005, about a year before the Olympics sponsorship was decided, Mr. Takahashi signed a contract with AOKI and received an “advisory fee” of about 45 million yen over four years. He received approximately 45 million yen as a “consulting fee” over a period of four years. In addition to the 45 million yen, he also received 230 million yen from AOKI through a subsidiary of Dentsu. In addition to the 45 million yen, it was also discovered that Takahashi had received 230 million yen from “AOKI” through a subsidiary of Dentsu. Of the 230 million yen, Takahashi is believed to have received approximately 150 million yen. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Department has been investigating the case since July 7.
Since July 26, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Department has conducted a series of raids on Takahashi’s home, Dentsu’s headquarters, and the home of the former chairman of AOKI, indicating the seriousness with which the arrest was made.
The Special Investigation Department has a clear understanding of the “flow of money” based on his securities account history and other information. The question now is whether or not a bribe is involved. If he is arrested, it is expected to be at the end of August.
Mr. Takahashi is a close friend of former JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda, an alumnus of Keio University. He is a close friend of Tsunekazu Takeda, former president of the JOC. Even after stepping down as an advisor to Dentsu in 2011, he is said to have had a tremendous voice within the organizing committee.
For this reason, his name has been widely reported for some time. It was in May 2004 that Takahashi first attracted attention as the “Don of the Olympics. When the Tokyo Olympics was decided in 2001, the son of IOC member Lamin Diack was invited to pay a total of 230 million yen to the company of the IOC member. The person who led the lobbying activities for the IOC was said to be Mr. Takahashi.
At that time, this magazine called Mr. Takahashi directly and asked him about his “view on the allegations. When we asked him about his views on the allegations, Takahashi was outraged, saying, “This kind of thing always happens!
This kind of thing always happens! It happens every time the event is held in any country. It happens everywhere. If we had to worry about it every single time, we would not be able to call the Olympics, and we would not be able to do it. It is common knowledge around the world that consultants are hired and lobbying is done. The media writes about bribes, bribes, bribes, but if you say that, the countries that bid for the Olympics will look like the most evil people’s countries.”
Later, in December 2006, French prosecutors investigated Takeda, then JOC president, on bribery charges. On that occasion, too, this magazine interviewed Mr. Takahashi.
He asked, “If the Japanese prosecutors and police investigated and acquitted him, why is the Japanese media making such a fuss just because France has started investigating? There’s no way they can know what I said in ’13 if they want me to look into it again. They are idiots. It’s ridiculous. That’s all.
Takahashi’s assertion that the Olympics cost a lot of money is probably true. However, it is precisely because the Olympics are such a world that Takahashi had to keep himself clean and innocent.
As in the past, Takahashi is said to be denying outright the allegations of bribery with AOKI.
The allegations seem to have come out of the blue, but the Special Investigation Department has been pursuing corruption in the Olympics for several years,” said Mr. Takahashi. The allegations of bribery between Takahashi and AOKI are just the beginning, and some believe that the investigation will extend to the entire Organizing Committee in the future.
The full extent of the corruption at the Olympics will only be revealed in the future.
From the August 19 and 26, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hasuo