Suspected accomplice: Kadokawa payment was reward for sponsorship

The head of the company that received payments from Japanese publisher Kadokawa reportedly says he thought the money was a reward for the receipt of a contract to sponsor the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Fukami Kazumasa was arrested by prosecutors on Tuesday. He is suspected of serving as an accomplice to former Tokyo Games organizing committee executive Takahashi Haruyuki.

Takahashi was rearrested on the same day. He is suspected of accepting bribes from former senior Kadokawa officials.

A former executive of the publisher, Yoshihara Toshiyuki, and a former senior official, Maniwa Kyoji, were arrested for offering the bribes.

They are suspected of paying Takahashi a total of 69 million yen, or about 480,000 dollars, for enabling the firm to be chosen as a sponsor of the Tokyo Games.

Sources say Fukami told people around him, before he was arrested, that he had introduced Kadokawa officials to Takahashi, so that the publisher could become an official sponsor.

He reportedly said he thought the payments from Kadokawa to his firm's account were made out of gratitude for the publisher's receipt of the sponsorship deal.

Fukami also reportedly explained that the funds from Kadokawa were not given to Takahashi.

Prosecutors raided Fukami's consulting firm on Tuesday and confiscated materials. They are believed to be tracing the flow of the funds that the firm received from Kadokawa.

Sources close to the investigation say Takahashi denies the allegations against him.