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Corruption scandal in Japan is spreading

A corruption scandal surrounding the Tokyo Olympics is spreading.

The Japanese public prosecutor’s office on Monday searched the headquarters of the major advertising agency Hakuhodo on suspicion of illegal bid-fixing for contracts in connection with test events for last year’s games. Shortly before, the headquarters of the advertising agency Dentsu, which was the exclusive marketing agency for the games in Tokyo, had been the target of a raid.

Haruyuki Takahashi, a former Dentsu employee who served on the board of the Games Organizing Committee, is being held on suspicion of corruption.

Prosecutors are investigating a number of companies in connection with the widening scandal. According to Japanese media reports, a good two dozen open tenders in 2018 for the rights to plan 56 test events were manipulated. It is about a contract amount of more than 500 million yen (3.5 million euros). Members of the organizing committee are said to have asked companies if they were interested in participating in the tender.

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