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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games: Equality defender and seven-time Olympian Seiko Hashimoto named head of organizing committee

“I’ll spare no effort for the success of the Tokyo Video games,” Hashimoto, seven-time Olympian, mentioned after being named.

Tokyo: Former Olympic Minister of Japan Seiko Hashimoto grew to become the brand new president of Tokyo 2020 on Thursday, ending an embarrassing state of affairs Sexism with simply over 5 months to the Video games postponed by the virus.

“I’ll spare no effort for the success of the Tokyo Video games,” Hashimoto, seven-time Olympian, mentioned after being named.

She stepped down as considered one of two girls within the Japanese cupboard earlier right now to take the important thing place.

The 56-year-old politician, who was additionally minister for gender equality and girls’s empowerment, will exchange Yoshiro Mori, 83, after triggering an uproar claiming that ladies discuss an excessive amount of at conferences.

Nomination comes simply over 5 months forward of virus-postponed Video games, Japanese public opinion nonetheless largely against the holding of the massive event this yr.

A committee with a 50-50 gender cut up was fashioned to discover a successor to Mori.

The Tokyo 2020 government board met earlier right now to listen to the outcomes of the committee’s deliberations, with 2020 vp Toshiaki Endo saying a fast determination is required.

Mori’s departure was “extraordinarily damaging from a preparation standpoint 5 months earlier than the Video games,” Endo mentioned.

“We should decide on the brand new president as quickly as doable, though it’s essential that he goes by means of acceptable procedures, provided that the matter has attracted consideration at residence and overseas,” mentioned he added.

Hashimoto is an avid Olympian, who has competed in seven consecutive Winter and Summer time Video games, in pace skating and as a dash bike owner, profitable a bronze medal for skating in 1992.

She mentioned she was introduced up by being informed by her father, “” you have been born to go to the Olympics “… earlier than I even knew the Olympics have been.”

She entered politics within the Nineteen Nineties and after a interval of balancing sport and political artwork, her final Video games as an athlete have been held in 1996, and he or she started to climb the ranks of the ruling Liberal Democratic Get together. .

Following Mori’s sexist remarks, Hashimoto mentioned she needed to have “in-depth discussions” with the boss of the Tokyo Olympics about her views.

“The elemental precept of the Olympic Video games is to advertise the development of ladies in sport in any respect ranges and organizations in an effort to obtain gender equality,” she mentioned.

However Hashimoto isn’t any stranger to the controversy itself.

In 2014, she confronted a sexual harassment scandal after images emerged of her hugging and kissing with a determine skater over 20 years her junior.

Allegedly taken at a boozy social gathering in Sochi, Russia after the Winter Olympics, the footage appeared to point out Daisuke Takahashi within the clutches of Hashimoto, head of the Japanese delegation to Sochi.

Takahashi mentioned he regretted the drunken second however didn’t imagine he was harassed by groom Hashimoto, who apologized for any “misunderstanding” attributable to the images.

‘Olympic flame’

Hashimoto was born in 1964 within the Hokkaido area of northern Japan, well-known for its freezing winters and snow sports activities.

She was born simply 5 days earlier than the opening ceremony of the final Olympic Video games in Tokyo and her mother and father have been impressed by the lighting of the Olympic flame – seika in Japanese – by naming her.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games equality advocate and seventh Olympian Seiko Hashimoto appointed head of organizing committee

Hashimoto, 56, was named chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee after a gathering of its 80 p.c male government board. Picture: AP

As of late, she is seen as properly related to the Olympic motion and is politically aligned with Mori, having belonged to her social gathering faction.

However she did not completely hand over her athletic prowess, as she would nonetheless prepare recurrently and take protein dietary supplements.

Hashimoto married a parliamentary guard in 1998, elevating eyebrows in political circles, and has six kids, together with three stepchildren.

She gave beginning to her first little one months earlier than the Sydney Olympics and selected to name her “Seika” which suggests “Olympic flame” to “go on the Olympic dream my father gave me”.

Within the patriarchal world of Japanese politics, getting married and having a child in energy was not solely unconventional however “completely unfathomable,” she mentioned.

“Till then, giving beginning was not even an formally acknowledged cause for lacking a session (of parliament),” she mentioned in an interview, describing requires resignations from colleagues who didn’t imagine they may fulfill their duties. capabilities.

However she juggled household {and professional} life and lobbied for a parliamentary crèche that opened in 2010, paving the way in which for different girls to comply with in her footsteps.

Because the boss of the Tokyo Olympics, Hashimoto faces an uphill battle to persuade a skeptical Japanese public that the occasion can go safely this summer time regardless of the pandemic.

She known as the cancellation or different postponement “inconceivable”, echoing the feelings of Tokyo 2020 organizers and the Worldwide Olympic Committee.

“For subsequent yr’s Video games, the athletes will proceed to work arduous within the environments they discover themselves in. So I feel we’ve got to arrange them in any respect prices,” she mentioned in September.

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