Two ad agency ex-officials found guilty of bribery linked to Tokyo Games

A court in Japan has given suspended sentences to two former senior officials of ad agency ADK Holdings for bribery linked to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The Tokyo District Court on Thursday found them guilty of paying about 14 million yen, or slightly over 100,000 dollars, in bribes to a former executive of the Games' organizing committee, Takahashi Haruyuki.

Prosecutors have said Hisamatsu Shigeharu and Tada Toshiaki sought Takahashi's help in arranging for ADK to handle sponsorship deals for the Games. Hisamatsu was in charge of the agency's business related to the Games, and Tada served as the liaison with Takahashi.

Presiding Judge Tomoshige Masahiro said the two men seriously distorted the fair and appropriate management of the Games, an event that attracted worldwide attention. The judge said they "left stains" on the Games.

He went on to say that the defendants were intent on making profits for their firm by taking advantage of Takahashi's influence. He added that they maintained the collusion with Takahashi, who sought personal profits.

The court sentenced Hisamatsu to 18 months in prison and Tada to 12 months, each suspended for three years.

ADK's former President Ueno Shinichi is on a separate trial, and has admitted to bribing Takahashi.

In a series of bribery cases linked to the 2020 Games, a total of 15 people have been indicted, including Takahashi and top officials of five major companies.

Of them, three former top officials of business suit retailer Aoki Holdings were given suspended sentences, which have since been finalized.