Tsuguhiko Kadokawa has been charged with bribary in connection to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics ©Getty Images

Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, chairman of the Kadokawa Corporation publishing company, has been charged with bribery in connection to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kadokawa is accused by prosecutors of paying ¥69 million (£420,000/$475,000/€480,000) in bribes to Tokyo 2020 Executive Board member Haruyuki Takahashi.

News agency Kyodo reports Kadokawa denies the allegation, but will step down as chairman.

"I have never been involved in corruption," Kadokawa said in a statement, per Kyodo

"I want to reveal the truth in the trial and make it clear that I am innocent."

Kadokawa consultant Toshiyuki Yoshihara and employee Kyoji Maniwa have also been indicted.

Aoki Holdings and Daiko Advertising have also been implicated in the growing bribery scandal, but the Kadokawa Corporation officials are the first people to be charged aside from Takahashi.

Takahashi has been accused of receiving money from corporations in exchange for helping them to become sponsors of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In at least once instance, prosecutors allege money transferred to a consulting firm run by Kazumasa Fukami, an acquaintance of Takahashi, amounted to bribes for Takahashi.

Fukami is among those who have been arrested over the course of the inquiry.

Tokyo 2020 was delayed by a year because of the COVID-19 crisis ©Getty Images
Tokyo 2020 was delayed by a year because of the COVID-19 crisis ©Getty Images

Ex-Organising Committee President Yoshirō Mori - also a former Prime Minister of Japan - and former Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Tsunekazu Takeda are among those to have been questioned.

The bribery scandal is casting something of a cloud over Tokyo 2020 - which was postponed by 12 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic and went ahead with the public unable to attend events - as well as Sapporo's bid for the 2030 Winter Games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has cancelled plans to attend an event commemorating Tokyo 2020 in the Japanese capital later this month.

The IOC blamed "scheduling reasons" for the decision.

The JOC blamed "scheduling conflicts" for Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto cancelling a visit to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne last month.

Bach was in Tokyo last week for the state funeral of Shinzō Abe, who played a key role in delivering the Olympics as Japan's Prime Minister and was assassinated in July.

The Asahi Shimbun conducted a survey last month which found 55 per cent of people in Japan still support holding the 2030 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, despite the Tokyo 2020 bribery scandal.