Questions raised about Tokyo Olympic bid

The prosecutors released on Thursday an interim report on their probe into allegations raised by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency in January.

The panel alleged the Japanese side paid a large sum to the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, as part of its efforts to host the Games.

The prosecutors said the payments may have occurred in July and October 2013 from a Japanese account to a Singaporean firm believed to be linked to the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack.

They added the transfers totaled 2 million dollars and were marked “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Game Bid.”

Diack was a member of the International Olympic Committee when Tokyo won the bid for the Games in September 2013.

The prosecutors did not disclose who sent the money. But they said they are looking into the purpose and timing of the transfers, which happened within months of Tokyo winning the Olympic bid.

French prosecutors say large payments may have been made in connection with Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics from a Japanese bank account to a company linked to the son of a former world athletics chief. (NHK)

Prince Akishino, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, and his wife, Princess Kiko, paid a courtesy call on Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, the Imperial Household Agency said. (Japan Times)

A power outage Thursday morning at an electrical substation in Kawasaki disrupted train services in the Tokyo metropolitan area, affecting some 240,000 commuters, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said. (Japan Times)

Prominent Japanese theater director Yukio Ninagawa, whose productions ranged from Shakespeare plays, Greek tragedies to contemporary dramas, died of multiple organ failure on Thursday. He was 80. (Jiji Press)

Struggling electronics maker Sharp Corp. said on Thursday it plans to name Tai Jeng-wu, director and the No. 2 executive of Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., as its new president. (

Nissan Motor plans to take a controlling stake in scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors. Nissan says it will spend 2.2 billion dollars to buy 34-percent of Mitsubishi, becoming its largest shareholder. (NHK)

Investigative sources with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed on Wednesday that a homeless man has admitted to starting a fire that damaged a number of buildings in the historic Golden Gai district last month, reports Fuji News Network (May 12). (Tokyo Reporter)

A commuter train leaving a Yokohama station during Wednesday morning’s rush hour was unable to close one of its door and proceeded to the next station travelling at 120 km/h with the door left open, affecting 40,000 passengers.

USJ Co. said Wednesday that the operating company of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has dropped a much heralded plan to open a theme park in Okinawa Prefecture, a project the Japanese government saw playing a key part in promoting the economy of the southern prefecture hosting the bulk of U.S. bases in the country. (Jiji Press)

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a popular illustrator for album covers for allegedly picking up an underage prostitute, reports TV Asahi (May 11). (Tokyo Reporter)

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