Japanese institute paid $1.3 mil by Tokyo Olympic bid committee shuts operations

By Ami Miyazaki

A Japanese non-profit sports institute that was paid $1.3 million by the Tokyo Olympic bid committee during a campaign to secure the 2020 Games shut down all its activities at the end of December, according to a notice on its website.

The Jigoro Kano Memorial International Sport Institute, established in 2009 and run by former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, did not provide a reason for ceasing activities on its website.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach a representative of the non-profit by telephone or email.

Mori did not respond to a Reuters request for comment when contacted by email through the Tokyo organizing committee.

The Tokyo metropolitan government, which has a seat on the institute's board, said it had not been notified of the non-profit's closure nor any changes in the group's activities.

The Tokyo bid committee paid the institute $1.3 million between 2012 and 2014, when Tokyo was lobbying to win the 2020 Games, Reuters reported last year.

A staff member at the institute told Reuters last year the money was used to hire a U.S.-based consulting firm and two individual consultants to support the Tokyo 2020 bid.

Mori, a powerful figure in Japanese sports who now heads the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, said in November he was not directly involved in the non-profit's finances and said he did not know about the money the institute received from the bid.

"It's true that I am the president of that organization, but I wasn't directly involved in the handling of the finances," Mori said during a news conference last year.

French investigators have examined banking records and transactions by the Tokyo bid committee as part of an ongoing investigation into whether $2.3 million paid to a Singapore consultant was a bribe to win support from a key member of the International Olympic Committee for Japan.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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"It's true that I am the president of that organization, but I wasn't directly involved in the handling of the finances," Mori said during a news conference last year.

Rats jumping ship!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Oh no! a dubious non profit company pockets $1.3 million tax payer money? For what?, the President who happens to be the prime Olympic organiser is clueless? Doesn't sound scebby at all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"It's true that I am the president of that organization, but I wasn't directly involved in the handling of the finances," Mori said during a news conference last year.

Classic LDP sleight of hand as advocated by Shinzo Abe's grandfather Kishi, who laid down the guidelines for his LDP cronies with the following words: [ Before returning to Japan in October 1939, Kishi is reported to have advised his colleagues in the Manchukuo government about corruption: "Political funds should be accepted only after they have passed through a 'filter' and been 'cleansed'. If a problem arises, the 'filter' itself will then become the center of the affair, while the politician, who has consumed the 'clean water', will not be implicated. Political funds become the basis of corruption scandals only when they have not been sufficiently 'filtered'." ]

"Kishi and Corruption: An Anatomy of the 1955 System". Japan Policy Research Institute.

Yes, this is the man the US released from prison in 1948 and re-instated to power to help create the LDP, which is why we see people like Mori simply following playbook today.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wasn't Olympus caught a few years back using a consultant for an acquisition and was unable to account for funds. In Japan, IDK seems like a common acceptable CEO answer when asked for accountability.

So, WHY? was Ghosn arrested... At least Nissan was profitable under his watch. Just askin ;o

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is standard operating procedure for many ‘companies’ in Japan. The ‘president’ is a titular head with absolutely no power; he (always a he) is used for his name value.

Decades ago I was on a committee and the chairman announced in our first meeting that he wasn’t going to do anything and everyone else would do all the work. He pointed at a very competent female and said, ‘she’s in charge.’ Then he left the room. He still got paid for ‘his’ work, of course; we didn’t.

Mori was used because he was a former prime minister (impressive in some spheres), and ‘in charge’ of getting the Olympics for Tokyo.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kind of ironic, since the group's activities will eventually be directly responsible for public financial losses in the 10s of billions of dollars if the Games are cancelled. They should be paying out instead of being paid.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let's think. Created in 2009. With the former PM, who has questionable ethics. Awarded fat contract. Shut down in 2020. Ah, just a money spigot, designed to siphon off cash from Olympic coffers. Also, tied to a bribery scheme being investigated by the French. The Tokyo metropolitan government, which involved the services and oversight of Koike, had no idea it had shuttered its doors. Good job!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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