June 5, 2020 / 6:27 AM / a month ago

Japan's Dentsu evacuates Tokyo HQ after bomb threat

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s largest advertising agency, Dentsu Group Inc, has evacuated its Tokyo headquarters after receiving a bomb threat, an internal company email reviewed by Reuters showed on Friday.

The company, in an email to employees, cited a message sent to its website, saying: “Warning of explosion at Dentsu’s Shiodome headquarters building with deadline past 7:00 a.m. on June 7, Sunday.”

Dentsu confirmed it has closed the building due to a bomb threat, and said has notified the authorities.

Entry to the building was forbidden over the weekend, the company said in the email. Dentsu had already introduced work-from-home measures because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The company is the focus of political scrutiny having received almost $700 million in government funds to help run a coronavirus aid programme via a scheme that has been described as opaque.

The pandemic has also hammered the advertising giant as clients reduce spending, with the virus-induced delay to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in which it has a central part, particularly painful.

Dentsu’s headquarters is in the Shiodome business district, where blue-chip Japanese firms including tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp and airline ANA Holdings are also based.

Its shares closed up 0.8% ahead of the news. Dentsu’s shares have gained 65% since hitting eight-year lows in April but are still down 19% year to date.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Sam Nussey; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Robert Birsel

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