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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 22 - 28  > Koike calls for probe into alleged use of Cabinet’s secret funds for 2020 Olympic bid
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2023 November 22 - 28 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Koike calls for probe into alleged use of Cabinet’s secret funds for 2020 Olympic bid

November 22, 2023

Ishikawa Governor Hase Hiroshi on November 17 during a speech given recently in Tokyo said that aiming to win Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, he used the so-called secret funds of the Cabinet Secretariat to make a gift to International Olympic Committee members who had voting power in deciding on the Games' host cities.

Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Summer Games in 2013. At that time, Hase was a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker and served as head of the party’s Olympic bidding promotion committee.

In the speech, Hase said that he was encouraged by then Prime Minister Abe who said to him, “Make sure you’ll win a bid. I’ll give you as much money as you need because we can use the Cabinet Secretariat’s secret funds.”

Hase said that he used the secret funds to create a photo album costing 200,000 yen per album for each of the 105 IOC members with photos from their playing days, and gave it to the 105 members, including legendary pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka.

If this is true, this would constitute a violation of the IOC Code of Ethics.

“Secret funds” are the money that the Cabinet can use without showing receipts and with no obligation to disclose what the money was used for. Each year, about 1.2 billion yen in tax money is allocated to the secret funds.

Hase, on the day after giving the speech, withdrew his remarks in order “to correct factual errors”. In this case, he should explain which part in his explanation was incorrect.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on November 21 at a press conference said, “If the Cabinet Secretariat ‘secret funds’ was used to win the Olympic bid, this will become a serious problem in light of the ideal of Olympism.” He stressed the need to summon Hase for testimony before the Diet in order to get to the truth behind this matter.
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