Japan's Olympics minister says Tokyo's 2020 bid was clean

AP , Friday 13 May 2016

Tokyo 2020
In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, shakes hands with President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda stands by after signing the Host City Contract for the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A shell company in Singapore is increasingly emerging at the heart of what French prosecutors believe was an organized web of corruption in sports, with their suspicions now extending to Tokyos winning bid for the 2020 Olympics (Photo: AP)

Japan's Olympics Minister believes Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics was fair, despite fresh allegations of bribery.

French prosecutors on Thursday said $2 million associated with Tokyo's bid was apparently paid to an account linked to the son of the disgraced former IAAF president Lamine Diack in the months immediately before and after Tokyo won the games.

Toshiaki Endo said Friday he was proud Tokyo's bid ''was seen to have been conducted in the fairest manner among all the candidate cities. So I believe there was no such thing (as the payments) and I believe there couldn't be.''

Tokyo organizers said they have no knowledge of such payments and the city won the rights to host the games because it presented the best bid.

Meanwhile, the Japan Sports Agency - established to increase Japan's international competitiveness and improve athlete support for the Tokyo Olympics - has asked the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government to investigate the alleged payments.

Sports Minister Hiroshi Hase said at a press conference on Friday, ''We will cooperate in full, and wish for a thorough examination.''

When asked about the payments, Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe said ''Tokyo Metropolitan Government had not put any public money into the lobbying.''

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