Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, chairman of Japanese publishing giant Kadokawa, is set to step down from his post following bribery allegations, his lawyers revealed on Tuesday, Oct 4. The announcement came hours after Kadokawa was indicted by public prosecutors on charges of bribing an official of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics organizing committee in exchange for making the company an Olympic sponsor.
In a statement released by his lawyers, Kadokawa denied the allegations and announced his intent to resign from his post to protect the company.
“Not only I but two employees of Kadokawa have been arrested and indicted, and I take these circumstances very seriously and think that I need to take responsibility,” his statement reads. “This incident is a difficult challenge for Kadokawa, and the company needs to face it with new management,” he added.
Kadokawa, 79, maintains that he has “never been involved in corruption” and that he wants “to reveal the truth in the trial” and prove his innocence.
Along with Kadokawa, former executive managing director Toshiyuki Yoshihara (64) and director Kyoji Maniwa (63) were indicted earlier in September. The indictment accuses the three of giving some 69 million yen to a consulting firm run by Kazumasa Fukami, a business partner of Takahashi. Takahashi allegedly used his connections to secure Kadokawa’s position as an Olympic sponsor.
The company is yet to officially confirm its chairman’s resignation, but in a press release, it stated:
We take this matter very seriously, and deeply apologize to all those concerned including our readers, customers, authors, creators, business partners, shareholders, and investors for the considerable inconvenience this matter has caused.Kadokawa
Genyoshi Kadokawa, the father of Tsuguhiko, founded Kadokawa in 1945. Tsuguhiko stepped in as the company’s president in 1993 and became its chairman in 2005.
Takeshi Natsuno, curent Kadokawa President, is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Kadokawa is a powerhouse in the anime industry and has published a variety of anime. Recent anime by the company includes Overlord, Classroom of the Elite, and The Rising of the Shield Hero.