— Published 7 June 2023

Sanctions continue to rain down

Heads continue to roll in Japan in the corruption scandal surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Games. On Tuesday June 6, a Tokyo court convicted two former executives of one of the organizing committee’s partners, plush toy manufacturer Sun Arrow. The company’s former president, Taiji Sekiguchi, 50, and his father, Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, 75, received one-year suspended prison sentences. They were charged with paying approximately 2 million yen ($14,000) in bribes to Haruyuki Takahashi, a former member of the Tokyo Olympic Games organizing committee and former head of the Dentsu advertising agency. Today’s two convicts are not the first since the start of the long soap opera surrounding corruption at the Tokyo Games. They join a long list of 15 people indicted for bribing Haruyuki Takahashi in exchange for his influence in partnership negotiations. Five of them have already been convicted. Sun Arrow had obtained the right, via its partnership contract with the organizing committee, to produce and market plush versions of the two Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Miraitowa and Someity.