Kadokawa releases report on alleged Tokyo Games bribery

Leading Japanese publisher Kadokawa has released a report outlining the results of an independent probe into a bribery case tied to Tokyo Games sponsorship.

The publisher's former chairman, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, was indicted last year on charges of bribing Takahashi Haruyuki, a former executive of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee.

Kadokawa allegedly gave a total of 69 million yen, or about 530,000 dollars, to Takahashi in exchange for having the publisher chosen as a Games sponsor.

A panel of independent lawyers and others appointed by the publisher has investigated what transpired in the sponsorship deal.

The report released on Monday says Takahashi proposed that the publisher pay the 69 million yen -- which is suspected of being remuneration for Takahashi -- as a consulting fee.

It says the company's president at the time agreed to do so after he confirmed that Kadokawa, the chairman at that time, had already approved the proposal.

The report says the company eventually made the payment without following necessary in-house procedures, and ignored concerns within the firm that the payment could be regarded as a bribe.

Executives of the Tokyo Games organizing committee are regarded as civil servants. Under Japanese law they are not allowed to accept money or gifts related to their duties.

The report points out that nobody could stop the transaction because the company's executives tended to care too much about the sentiments of their superiors -- especially the chairman. It says that tendency was part of the corporate culture.

The report urges the company to review its personnel system and enhance its audit process.

The publisher says it has taken the panel's suggestions seriously and will strive to improve its corporate governance and compliance.