To have the Games, Tokyo 2020 paid without counting

No respite for Tokyo 2020. At a time when the Olympic movement is working with busy gestures on the calendar and travel plans for the year 2021, a new affair is overwhelming the Japanese organizers. It is in addition to the most troubled final episodes of Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games.

The bomb was dropped by Reuters . The British agency had access to the Tokyo 2020 campaign accounts. It reveals that it has discovered, written black and white, the trace of a payment of $ 8.2 million paid to a former executive officer of the advertising agency. and public relations Dentsu, Haruyuki Takahashi (photo below).

The reason ? The person concerned recognized it himself: lobbying work. In his own words, Haruyuki Takahashi was instructed by the Japanese bid committee to influence certain IOC members to encourage them to vote for Tokyo, then in competition with Madrid and Istanbul.

String puller Haruyuki Takahashi, who was the business partner of Horst Dassler and Jean-Marie Weber and controlled top officials, the ISL, Dentsū, gigantic kickbacks and IOC votes.

Among them, Lamine Diack. The former president of the IAAF, still awaiting his trial before French justice for corruption and money laundering, was allegedly sprayed with gifts by Haruyuki Takahashi. He is said to have received a digital camera and a Seiko watch.

At the material time, Lamine Diack was still an active member of the IOC. On the eve of the election for the host city of the 2020 Summer Games, organized in September 2013 in Buenos Aires, the Senegalese had assembled a group of African leaders to tell them that he had decided to vote for Tokyo.

Haruyuki Takahashi does not entirely deny the facts. Questioned by Reuters , the Japanese admits having received a payment from the bid committee. But he refuses to detail the exact nature of his lobbying work. He admits having approached Lamine Diack, having offered him some gifts, but explains that such a practice is not illegal in the Olympic universe. “  You never leave empty handed. It just makes sense, “ he told Reuters.

The British agency reveals that it discovered in the Japanese bid committee’s bank statements a transfer of $ 46,500 in the name of Seiko Watch. A former Tokyo 2020 bid executive confirmed that the watches purchased from the Japanese brand had indeed been donated at receptions held during the 2020 Games campaign.

Clarification: IOC rules authorized gifts to its members at the time. But the text was intended to be vague. He did not mention an amount beyond which it was strongly recommended to refuse, under penalty of violating the code of ethics.

Haruyuki Takahashi is no longer a member of the Dentsu agency staff. But he remains very involved in the preparation of the Tokyo Games. He sits on the board of the organizing committee. He stood out at the start of last month by explaining before everyone, to the  Wall Street Journal , that the Games would not be canceled but that it was not excluded to postpone them for one or two years.

Troubling, also, the trace in the accounts of Tokyo 2020 of a payment of 1.3 million dollars to a Japanese non-profit organization. Little known, it was headed at the material time by Yoshiro Mori, the former Japanese Prime Minister, now president of the organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Yoshori Mori did not respond to requests from Reuters . But a representative of the association cited in the British media investigation explained that the money essentially corresponded to a work ”  of analysis of international information.  »A service paid at full price.