TOKYO: Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corp. said Wednesday that Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, 79, stepped down as chairman following his indictment on Tuesday on a bribery case related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Vice Chairman Masaki Matsubara also stepped down to take responsibility for the scandal, which happened when he was president of the company.
The company said in a statement that although whether the resigned chairman is guilty of bribery or not will be judged by a court, the company accepted his resignation as it took his arrest and indictment “very seriously.”
The company revealed a plan to set up a panel of lawyers and other outside specialists to look into the matter while vowing to “fully cooperate with authorities in their investigation” and “make every effort to rebuild trust.”
In the bribery case, Toshiyuki Yoshihara, 64, former managing director of the publisher, and Kyoji Maniwa, 63, former office chief of the company, have been arrested and indicted on charges of giving bribes totaling some 69 million yen to Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, a former Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee executive.
The resigned chairman is believed to have conspired with Yoshihara and Maniwa to ask Takahashi to make the publisher a sponsor of the Tokyo Games, held in summer 2021.
In a statement released through his lawyers, the former chairman said he had “never been involved in any corruption,” indicating that he plans to fight to establish his innocence at a court.
Also on Wednesday, the lawyers of the former chairman and Yoshihara filed with Tokyo District Court for their release on bail. Maniwa has already been freed on bail.