Tokyo 2020 bid leader questioned in Japan's parliament

AP , Tuesday 17 May 2016

Tokyo 2020
Koji Murofushi (R), Olympic gold medal-winning hammer thrower and Tokyo 2020 Sports Director, poses for pictures in front of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games emblems after an unveiling event at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan, July 24, 2015 (Reuters)

One of the leaders of Tokyo's winning bid for the 2020 Olympics told the Japanese parliament Tuesday that he cannot reveal the details of a contract with a Singapore firm that has enmeshed the bid in a French bribery investigation.

''We looked into the content of this contract but this is a confidential matter,'' Tsunekazu Takeda said under questioning from lawmakers. ''So, I understand that I am not allowed to unveil the content without gaining approval from the counterpart.''

French prosecutors have said that 2.8 million Singapore dollars ($2 million) was apparently transferred from Japan to the Singapore account of a company called Black Tidings.

The account holder, Ian Tan Tong Han, has been closely tied to the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, who is facing corruption charges.

Diack, once one of the most influential men in sports, was a member of the International Olympic Committee. He is under investigation in France, barred from leaving the country while the probe continues.

Takeda, now president of the Japan Olympic Committee, acknowledged last week that the payments were made, but he said they were consulting fees for services such as bid planning, international lobbying advice and media analysis.

Japanese Olympics Minister Toshiaki Endo urged the involved parties to explain the issue to the public.

''I understand there is a matter of confidentiality but we would like for them to investigate this issue ... and handle it in a way that could gain understanding from the people of Japan,'' he said.

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