Tokyo prosecutors have arrested two former senior officials of major Japanese publisher Kadokawa on suspicion of bribing a former executive of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee.
Former Kadokawa executive Yoshihara Toshiyuki and former senior official Maniwa Kyoji were arrested on Tuesday.
A fresh arrest warrant was issued for former Tokyo Games organizing committee executive Takahashi Haruyuki on suspicion of accepting bribes.
An acquaintance of his, Fukami Kazumasa, who heads a Tokyo-based consulting firm, was arrested as an accomplice.
Also on Tuesday, prosecutors raided Kadokawa's head office, the home of its chairman Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, and Fukami's consulting firm.
Yoshihara and Maniwa are suspected of providing Takahashi with a total 69 million yen, or about 490,000 dollars, from 2019 through last year in exchange for having been picked as a sponsor for the Tokyo Games.
They allegedly sent a total of about 540,000 dollars in 10 installments to an account of Fukami's consulting firm after Kadokawa became a Games sponsor in 2019.
Kadokawa published the Games' official programs and guidebooks as an "official supporter."
Chairman Kadokawa told reporters on Monday that he does not think the money paid to the consulting firm went to Takahashi, and strongly denied accusations of bribery.
Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday indicted Takahashi for accepting about 360,000 dollars, from major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings in exchange for Games sponsorship.
They also indicted Aoki Holdings founder Aoki Hironori and two others on suspicion of bribery.
Sources say Takahashi has denied the charge while Aoki has admitted to it.