Dentsu Group CEO Hiroshi Igarashi admits agency involvement in Olympics bid rigging
Dentsu Group's president & CEO Hiroshi Igarashi has reportedly admitted to prosecutors that the agency was involved in rigging bids for the Tokyo Games.
Dentsu CEO admits agency's role in Tokyo Olympics bid rigging scandal
According to reports, Igarashi underwent voluntary questioning last week regarding his agency's role in the ongoing bid-rigging scandal. During this questioning, he told prosecutors that Dentsu was responsible for rigging bids over contracts to plan and run test events prior to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Igarashi's questioning came after the arrest of Koji Henmi, the former assistant chief of the sports department of Dentsu, earlier this month. Henmi is suspected of colluding with Yasuo Mori, a former senior official of the Tokyo Games organizing committee to predetermine the winners of event contracts.
Prosecutors are investigating seven companies that are believed to have been involved in the bid-rigging. The companies include advertising agencies Dentsu, Hakuhodo, ADK and Tokyu Agency, and event production companies Cerespo, Fuji Creative and Same Two.
Prosecutors believe the bid-rigging involved contracts to host test events at Olympic venues which saw nine companies awarded contracts following 26 open bids. It is believed the companies were able to select the contracts they wished to be awarded and it was then ensured they were the sole bidders for the event contract.
Prosecutors have arrested a number of senior executives in relation to the investigation and are reported to be considering charging the companies of violating the anti-monopoly law.
Last week, the former president of Japan’s third largest advertising agency ADK Holdings Shinichi Ueno appeared in court and admitted to bribing a Tokyo Olympic organising committee executive.
Earlier this month, Dentsu established a third-party Special Committee staffed by three independent outside directors to investigate the "alleged incidents that occurred at subsidiaries of the Company's Japan business relating to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games".