Ex-Tokyo Games organizing committee head questioned over bribery scandal

Tokyo prosecutors have reportedly interviewed former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro in relation to a bribery scandal linked to sponsorship contracts of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Mori is a former head of the Tokyo Games organizing committee.

Sources close to the matter told NHK that Mori was questioned on a voluntary basis.

Former organizing committee executive Takahashi Haruyuki has been arrested and indicted for accepting bribes totaling 51 million yen, or about 360,000 dollars, from a former chairman of business suit retailer Aoki Holdings and others.

Another arrest warrant has been issued for Takahashi on suspicion of accepting bribes worth about 540,000 dollars, from officials of major publisher Kadokawa.

Both companies were Games sponsors.

The prosecutors appear to have judged it essential to question Mori in substantiating the relevant allegations involving Takahashi.

The investigators likely asked Mori what kind of authority was granted to Takahashi, and about the committee's sponsorship decision-making process.

Mori's lawyer declined to comment, citing the possibility of affecting investigations.