Prosecutors question former Games director Mori

File photo of the Yomiuri Shimbun
Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo prosecutors questioned Yoshiro Mori, former chairman of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Organizing Committee, about the ongoing corruption scandal at the Tokyo Games, sources said Friday.

The Tokyo District Procuratorate suspects that former committee executive Haruyuki Takahashi, at the center of the scandal, introduced Hironori Aoki, former chairman of clothing manufacturer Aoki Holdings Inc., to Mori during the Games sponsor selection process, the sources said.

During the interrogation, the special team of the prosecutor’s office apparently tried to confirm the details of what led Takahashi to introduce Aoki to Mori, the conversations between the three and the extent of Mori’s authority in as chairman of the organizing committee.

Takahashi, 78, created an opportunity to introduce Aoki, 83, to former Prime Minister Mori around summer 2017 during the sponsorship selection process, at the request of the former president, the sources said. The three met more than once thereafter.

Members of the organizing committee were treated as quasi-civil servants prohibited from receiving money or property in connection with their duties. The rules of procedure of the now defunct committee stipulated that its chairman represented the committee and carried out the operations.

Mori, who had been involved in Games-related matters since Tokyo was a candidate to be the host city, became the first chairman of the committee established in January 2014.

Takahashi, a former executive of advertising giant Dentsu Inc. and a prominent figure in the sports business community, joined the committee’s board in June of that year as the last of its 35 members.

Takahashi reportedly joined the board with support from other executives. The Task Force apparently questioned Mori about Takahashi’s appointment.

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