Kadokawa Creates Inspection Committee Amid Bribing Scandal
On October 5, the company Kadokawa held a press conference in the midst of a scandal involving an alleged bribery to get Kadokawa in as an official sponsor for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, whose father founded the company, ex-Kadokawa executive Toshiyuki Yoshihara and ex-senior official Kyоji Maniwa have all been arrested and indicted.
Kadokawa president Takeshi Natsuno apologized at the press conference, along with some executives. Kadokawa has created a Corporate Governance Inspection Committee, and they presented it to the public. The committee—made up of experts not associated with Kadokawa to keep things neutral—will look into what happened and suggest ways to make sure nothing like this happens again.
It had been reported by Japan’s news outlet Mainichi Shimbun that Tsuguhiko Kadokawa was planning to resign from his position as chairman. This has now been confirmed. Vice-chair Masaki Matsubara has also chosen to resign. However, both of them are still board members of the Kadokawa company, so they haven’t completely broken ties.
As of now, the chairman and vice chair positions remain unfilled.
Authorities believe that someone at Kadokawa publishing used about $480,000 to bribe their way to sponsorship at the Olympics. Another Japanese company, Aoki Holdings, has confessed to bribing to get its sponsorship. Police think that Haruyuki Takahashi was taking the bribes, but he has denied this.
Tsuguhiko Kadokawa has previously said that, yes, money was sent, but was adamant that he had “absolutely no recognition on his part that the money constituted a bribe.”
The company Kadokawa has said that as a whole it was not involved in any bribery, and has also said that it will fully cooperate with the investigation.
It is not known what Toshiyuki Yoshihara and Kyоji Maniwa have told authorities, if anything.
Court dates have not been announced.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.