A French judge reportedly considered a Japanese probe into bribery allegations to be flawed ©Getty Images

A Japanese probe into a controversial payment made by Tokyo 2020 to Singapore-based Black Tidings was limited and had "many flaws", a French judge reportedly concluded. 

According to Japanese news agency Kyodo News, the declaration was made by a judge in December 2018, when questioning the then Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda.

French investigators reportedly considered the Japanese probe of the allegations as "unsatisfactory".

A special investigative team from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office had questioned Japanese officials in 2017 following a request from French authorities.

The investigation team was considered to have "failed to question all the witnesses or seize documents" that had been requested from the French side, according to Kyodo News.

This is allegedly due to differences in law between the two countries, as under French law, bribery of private citizens and public officials is illegal.

However, it is only considered bribery in Japan if a public official is a recipient.

The probe was established due to a transaction from the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee totalling $2 million (£1.4 million/€1.6 million).

It is thought the payment was made in two installments in 2013 to Black Tidings, before Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires.

Former JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda denied being involved in selecting consultants  ©Getty Images
Former JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda denied being involved in selecting consultants ©Getty Images

The association with Black Tidings was highly controversial, due to its links to Papa Massata Diack, son of disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack.

Lamine Diack was a voting IOC member when Tokyo was elected as host.

Investigators probed whether the payment was in fact a bribe paid to secure the support of the Senegalese and others under his influence.

According to Takeda, who led Japan’s successful bid for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, he denied to French authorities that he had played no part in awarding a consultancy contract to Black Tidings.

Takeda allegedly claimed the decision was as a result of recommendations from Japanese advertising firm Dentsu

"I approved the conclusion of the contract because I had every confidence in the secretariat," Takeda said, according to Kyodo News.

"It is true that I signed off the contract with Black Tidings as the final decision-maker, but I was not involved with the selection of all the consultants."

Takeda, who denies wrongdoing, resigned as JOC President and as a member of the IOC in 2019.

The resignations followed Takeda being questioned over the scandal.