JOC head denies corruption allegations
NHK -- Jan 16
The head of Japan's Olympic Committee is denying any wrongdoing related to allegations he used bribes to help secure the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Tsunekazu Takeda is currently under formal investigation by French authorities.

The case relates to a 2 million dollar payment to a Singapore-based firm with links to the son of an influential International Olympic Committee member.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Takeda said he signed off on the payment, but the documents and transactions were approved by people on the ground.

He said, "As for the contract with Black Tidings, I was not involved in the decision making process in any shape or form. The JOC's internal probe has concluded that the payment to the firm was proper compensation for consulting services. I will prove my innocence by fully cooperating with French authorities."

The former IOC member allegedly connected to the firm is currently facing separate corruption charges in France.

Takeda's news conference lasted less than 10 minutes. And he did not take any questions from journalists, pointing to the ongoing French probe.

Associated Press correspondent Stephen Wade said, "In Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. We spent a lot of time writing about corruption. This is very similar .. Tokyo has been going so well and this is a black mark in Tokyo games."

Japan's Sports Minister says the country's Olympic Committee has a responsibility to clear up any doubt about the allegations.

News source: NHK
Feb 23
Japan on Friday stepped up its claim to a pair of South Korea-controlled islets, amid escalating tensions with its neighbor resulting from disputes over wartime issues. (Japan Times)
Feb 23
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito marks his 59th birthday on Saturday. He will ascend to the throne on May 1st, one day after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicates. (NHK)
Feb 23
All Nippon Airways said Friday it was forced to delay a domestic flight earlier this week after a co-pilot failed an alcohol breath test despite new rules. (Japan Today)
Feb 23
Elin McCready, a transgender woman, has been married for 19 years, but registering her female identity and name has thrown her union into jeopardy because Japan doesn't recognize gay marriage. (Japan Today)
Feb 22
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says data from the Hayabusa2 space probe shows it had landed on the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft's task is to collect rock samples. (NHK)
Feb 22
A mother and her boyfriend were arrested Thursday for allegedly injuring the woman's 8-year-old daughter by binding her wrists and forcing her into a cold bath at their home in Fukuoka Prefecture last month, police said. (Japan Times)
Feb 22
Authorities in Hokkaido have opened shelters for people left stranded on trains or out in the bitter cold following the strong earthquake on Thursday. (NHK)
Feb 22
Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested a 56-year-old man after he was found wielding scissors inside a Tokaido Shinkansen train on Wednesday, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 22
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday arrested two former employees of a hostess club in Edogawa Ward for allegedly dumping the corpse of a man who died after excessive drinking, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 22
With seven months until the opening of the Rugby World Cup, organizing committee CEO Akira Shimazu said Thursday the number of foreign fans at the quadrennial tournament has far "exceeded his expectations." (Japan Today)