TOKYO, Japan: Japanese prosecutors raided the headquarters of advertising company Dentsu, as part of a widening investigation into corruption during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Footage of Tokyo District Prosecutors and Japan Fair Trade Commission officials entering Dentsu headquarters was broadcast nationwide.
In Japan, Dentsu dominates the sectors of event organizing, marketing and public relations, and it helped the country win the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Games, attracting record domestic sponsorships.
Former Dentsu executive Haruyuki Takahashi has been arrested four times for receiving bribes from various companies that became sponsors for the Games.
According to the newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun and other Japanese media outlets, the latest investigation centers around bid-rigging for companies chosen to work on test events, with $3.6 million alleged to have exchanged hands involving nine companies and one organization.
The companies involved in the earlier sponsorship scandal include Aoki Holdings, a clothing company that dressed Japan’s Olympic team, and Sun Arrow, which produced the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Miraitowa and Someity.
Media reports also said that events company Cerespo was raided on suspicion of involvement in bid-rigging.
Speculation has been growing that the burgeoning scandal may tarnish Japan’s bid for the 2030 Winter Games.