afaqs! news bureau

Tokyo Olympics: Japan’s Dentsu Inc. under the scanner

The advertising and PR giant is being probed for conflict of interest and attempt to lobby members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games on 7 February 2003. The games which were supposed to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020 were posted in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. It will now take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) had awarded Japanese PR giant Dentsu Inc. 3 of the 6 tenders that were mostly concerned planning and support services for Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Test events.

Dentsu Inc. donated more than $6 million to Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics and it lobbied members of the International Olympic Committee despite holding a separate contract with the IOC to market the games. Thus, creating a conflict of interest.

Reuters reported that Dentsu Inc., to bolster its efforts, roped in a Singaporean consultant, Tan Tong Han. French authorities who’re investigating global corruption in sport suspect Han in bribing Olympic voters for Tokyo.

The authorities also suspect Han to have passed on a sum of $2.3 million (paid by Tokyo’s campaign committee) to Papa Massata Diack, the son of IOC member Lamine Diack, to buy votes for Tokyo. Please note Diack was convicted in France on 16 September or covering up Russian doping in return for bribes and was sentenced to at least two years in jail.