Former Tokyo 2020 operations executive Yasuo Mori is among the seven individuals to have been indicted in the Olympic bid-rigging scandal ©Getty Images

Japanese marketing agency Dentsu Group and former Tokyo 2020 operations executive Yasuo Mori are among several companies and officials that have been officially charged over alleged bid rigging for contracts linked to test events prior to the re-arranged Olympic Games.

Tokyo prosecutors have indicted six companies, including high-ranking officials at each of those, and Mori after receiving complaints from the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

They are alleged to have violated the anti-monopoly law by rigging bids for contracts reportedly worth approximately ¥40 billion (£249 million/$307 million/€283 million) to organise test events in preparation for Tokyo 2020 that was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advertising agencies Dentsu Group, Hakuhodo and Tokyu Agency and event production companies Cerespo, Fuji Creative. and Same Two have been charged by the prosecutors.

Seven individuals have also been indicted, including Mori and Koji Hemmi, the former executive at Dentsu, over their alleged involvement in the big-rigging scandal.

Mori and Hemmi were arrested earlier this month, along with Cerespo executive director Yoshiji Kamata and Fuji Creative executive director Masahiko Fujino, who have also been charged.

Dentsu was among six companies that have been charged by Tokyo prosecutors ©Getty Images
Dentsu was among six companies that have been charged by Tokyo prosecutors ©Getty Images

Tokyu Agency director Mitsuo Yasuda, Same Two representative director Masao Umino and Kenichiro Yokomizo, general manager of the sports division at Hakuhodo, are the other individuals to have been indicted in the case, according to the Japan News.

The offences are thought to have taken place in 2018 when 26 open tenders to organise Tokyo 2020 test events were launched.

These were awarded to nine companies, including Dentsu and fellow advertising giant Hakuhodo Inc, for a total of ¥538 million (£3.4 million/$4.1 million/€3.82 million).

The successful companies also received contracts for the Olympic and Paralympic competitions, said to be worth ¥40 billion (£250 million/$305 million/€280 million).

Dentsu has issued a statement following the charges, claiming it "takes the situation seriously and offers its sincere apologies to its business partners, shareholders, and all other relevant parties for any inconvenience or concern this may cause".

A date has not been set for the trial.

Should the individuals be found guilty, they face a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of up to ¥5 million (£30,250/$36,500/€34,400).

A company convicted of big-rigging could also be hit with a fine of up to ¥500 million (£3 million/$3.65 million/€3.45 million).

Seiko Hashimoto, who led the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee
Seiko Hashimoto, who led the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee" said she felt "great responsibility" ©Getty Images

Seiko Hashimoto, who replaced Yoshirō Mori as Tokyo 2020 President in February 2021, sadmitted that the news was "deeply regrettable" and felt "a great responsibility as the former head of the [Organising] Committee" in a report by Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

Corruption allegations have seriously damaged Japan's hopes of staging the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sapporo.

Former Tokyo 2020 Executive Board member Haruyuki Takahashi,also an ex-senior managing director at Dentsu, faces four charges of bribery which reportedly yielded ¥198 million (£1.2 million/$1.5 million/€1.4 million) in return for helping companies secure sponsorship or marketing deals.

Former ADK Holdings President Shinichi Ueno last week admitted in court that he had bribed Takahashi.