Tokyo 2020 Official Accused of Accepting Bribe from Stuffed Toy Company for Licensed Products
A former Tokyo Olympics executive is being accused of accepting bribes from a company that sold officially licensed toys of the Tokyo 2020 mascots.
Former Tokyo Olympic executive, Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, who has been at the center of the widening bribery scandal, is believed to have received a total of 8 million yen (USD54,000) in cash from stuffed toy maker Sun Arrow Inc. https://t.co/ifFuClhgOb
— Philippine News Agency (@pnagovph) October 17, 2022
According to the Japan Times, Haruyuki Takahashi allegedly received 8 million yen (about $53,700) from stuffed toy company Sun Arrow. This would be his fourth bribery case, having already been arrested three times on suspicion of accepting larger bribes from three other companies, including a business suit retailer and an ad agency.
Officials believe that Sun Arrow asked Takahashi to lobby the games' organizing committee to "extend favors over the sale of merchandise for the games."
There has been plenty of controversy around Olympics merchandise. This year's Winter Olympics in Beijing saw a coalition of 400 human rights groups press the IOC about merchandise possibly being produced with forced labor in China.
The first Tokyo 2020 logo was also scrapped after claims of plagiarism.
Tokyo 2020 merchandise was an instant hit at retail (with prolonged visibility due to the postponement), so any chance to create officially licensed merchandise would come with a huge financial windfall.