Japan on Thursday named former Japanese athlete-turned-politician Seiko Hashimoto as president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising committee, replacing Yoshiro Mori, who resigned after setting off a furore with sexist remarks.
Accorfing to reuters.com, Hashimoto, who competed in seven Summer and Winter Olympics as a cyclist and a skater, faces a raft of tough issues at the helm of one of the world’s biggest sporting events with less than half a year before its delayed start.
Hashimoto announced her selection shortly after submitting her resignation as Olympics minister to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who encouraged her to make the Games successful.
“As someone with an athletic background, I will carry out a safe Games for both athletes and citizens,” she told a news conference.
She replaces Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister, who resigned as Tokyo 2020 president last week after saying women talk too much.
Her appointment was welcomed by the International Olympic Committee which had not demanded Mori’s resignation and had initially considered the case closed after his first apology and refusal to step down.
“With her great Olympic experience….and having led Japan’s delegation to the Olympic Games multiple times, she is the perfect choice for this position,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
“Seiko Hashimoto can draw on her rich political experience as a Minister and many other political functions. This will help to deliver safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.”