Kadokawa Tsuguhiko (chair of Kadokawa media conglomerate) has been charged with bribery. The veteran executive was taken into custody Wednesday. He is accused of having bribed Takahashi Haruyuki (ex-director of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee) to a sum of JPY69million ($483,000).
Kadokawa is a founding member of the company and is accused of funneling payments towards a consulting firm headed by Fukami Kazumasa (another former Dentsu executive who has connections to Takahashi). Kadokawa published the official guides and records for the Olympics in April 2019, achieving the goal of securing an Olympics sponsorship deal.
In connection with the investigation into bribery, Takahashi and Fukami, as well former Kadokawa executives Yoshihara Toshiyuki, and Maniwa Kyoji were all arrested last week. Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, who denied knowledge of the bribery plot, was arrested on Sept. 5.
Prosecutors have also questioned Mori Yoshiro, a former prime minister and Tokyo Olympics chief, but he was not arrested.
Kadokawa Haruki, Kadokawa’s older brother, transformed the once-stupid publishing house into a major player in Japan’s film industry. He made the bestsellers of the company into hits starting in the 1970s. Haruki was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment in 1994 for drug smuggling.
Tsuguhiko assumed the presidency after he was forced from the company. He was elected chairman of Kadokawa Holdings in 2005 (now Kadokawa) and also head of Kadokawa Group’s publishing house. He was also the chair of Tokyo International Film Festival.
Kadokawa Group’s film arm Kadokawa Daiei Studio is part of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, (Eiren), which is the most powerful industry organization.
Kadokawa Tsukuhiko was an executive producer on several recent films, including the 2021 Miike Takashi fantasy film “The Great Yokai War. Guardians,” 2020’s disaster drama “Fukushima 50”, and the documentary “Ryuichi Samoto: Coda” in 2017.