Kadokawa was one of the major sponsors for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which actually occurred in 2021 because of the COVID pandemic). However, there were soon accusations that some people at Kadokawa bribed their way into being sponsors. And Toshiyuki Yoshihara, an executive at Kadokawa, was just found guilty by a Tokyo District Court for bribing Haruyuki Takahashi, a former member of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee. According to the accusations, Yoshihara paid Takahashi 69 million yen (which is approximately $463,000) to get Kadokawa special treatment.
“The belief in the fairness of the Games has been damaged,” Presiding Judge Yoshihisa Nakao remarked. The Mainichi, a Japanese news outlet, noted that these bribery scandals might prevent Japan from hosting the Olympics again in 2030. The Japanese city of Sapporo is interested in hosting then, but might lose out because of other people’s illegal actions.
The judge further said he knew Yoshihara knew what he was doing was illegal. The judge commented Yoshihara did this to try to give Kadokawa an “edge” by being a sponsor.
The judge handed down a two-year prison sentence that is suspended for four years. In other words, if Yoshihara obeys the law for four years, he doesn’t get put behind bars.
Presiding Judge Nakao chose to do a suspended sentence because he says Yoshihara is remorseful and because Yoshihara’s wife has vowed to keep a close eye on him.
Yoshihara responded to the verdict by saying “Yes” and bowing many times.
Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, son of the man who founded Kadokawa, has also been accused of being part of the bribery scandal. His trial has not yet started. People from companies other than Kadokawa have also been accused of bribing Takahashi to become sponsors. Some of these people have been convicted. And some are still awaiting trial, including Takahashi.
Source: The Mainichi
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.