TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday vowed cooperation with French investigators probing payments allegedly made to help Tokyo secure the 2020 Olympics.
“I have instructed the education and sports minister to fully cooperate in the investigation,” Abe told lawmakers in parliament, Jiji Press reported.
“Education and sports minister (Hiroshi) Hase told the Japanese Olympic Committee and the former bid committee to cooperate in the investigation,” Abe was quoted as saying.
French prosecutors on Thursday said they were investigating $2 million in payments, suspecting they were aimed at winning support for Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Games.
On Friday, Japan’s Olympic chief insisted that the payments “legitimate” and were for consulting work.
The payments to a bank account in Singapore were first revealed by Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Sources told Agence France-Presse that French investigators suspected the money was aimed at helping Tokyo secure the 2020 Games.