• Reuters, Kyodo

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Dentsu Group Inc. has evacuated its Tokyo headquarters after receiving a bomb threat, the advertising giant said Friday.

In an email to employees, Japan's largest advertising agency cited a message sent to its website that said: "Warning of explosion at Dentsu's Shiodome headquarters building with deadline past 7:00 a.m. on June 7, Sunday."

A company source said the threat was made as a posting with a personal name attached on the website on Friday morning. The message also said "a bad company that disturbs the world will be disciplined," the source said.

Dentsu closed the building and notified authorities, it said, adding that entry is forbidden over the weekend. Many Dentsu employees are already telecommuting because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The advertising giant has become the focus of political scrutiny for receiving some ¥74.9 billion in government funds to help run a coronavirus aid program via a plan that has been described as opaque.

The pandemic is also hammering the influential company. Clients have reduced spending, and the virus-induced delay of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been particularly painful because it was set to play a major role.

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

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