Aoki Asked for Favors from Takahashi until Just before Olympics


Tokyo, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press)--Japanese apparel maker Aoki Holdings Inc. <8214> had asked for favors from Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, over its Olympic-related business until just before the opening of the sporting event, informed sources said Saturday.

Public prosecutors believe the Aoki side had relied on Takahashi for not only sponsorship selection but also other wide-ranging fields such as sales of officially licensed products.

Earlier this week, the special squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrested Takahashi, 78, on suspicion of taking bribes from the side of Aoki, known for its high-street business suits. Three from the Aoki side, including founder and former Chairman Hironori Aoki, 83, were arrested for allegedly giving the bribes.

Aiming to obtain a Tokyo Games sponsorship contract, the former Aoki chairman and other company officials had been in touch with Takahashi since January 2017, frequently meeting at a high-end steak house in Tokyo run by Takahashi and elsewhere, according to the sources. They also played golf together.

Takahashi notified the Aoki side around summer that year of an informal decision to pick Aoki as a sponsor. Around autumn 2018, Takahashi received from the Aoki side written requests that included a call for promoting sales of Aoki's officially licensed goods.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press