The former Olympics minister herself has competed in the Games seven times, as a cyclist and speed skater. Former chief Yoshiro Mori has resigned following a backlash after being quoted as saying women talk too much. Another male chef in his 80s was initially appointed to replace him, but this also sparked protests. The Board of Directors of the Japanese Olympic Committee currently has 24 members, including five women. Mr. Mori had previously said that if the number of women on the board increases, they should “make sure their speaking time is somewhat limited, they have difficulty completing which is annoying”.

He then apologized for his “inappropriate statement” and added that the priority was to get the Olympics to take place in July. Ms. Hashimoto said on Thursday that she had stepped down from her role as Olympic minister to assume her new post as chief of the Tokyo Games. Speaking to the media on Thursday, Hashimoto signaled that she wanted the Tokyo Games to leave a legacy of a society that accepts people regardless of gender, disability, race, or sexual orientation.

I am sure that the Games will draw more attention to gender equality, and in this regard, I am determined to regain confidence, with all my efforts, she adds. As a person with sports training, I will make sure that the Games are safe, both for the athletes and for the citizens, she continues. The International Olympic Committee welcomed this appointment. President Thomas Bach said in a statement that Ms. Hashimoto was a perfect choice and that her political background would help ensure safe and successful Games. The Summer Olympics will begin on July 23, having already been postponed for a year due to the pandemic. Who is Seiko Hashimoto? At 56, she served as Japan’s Olympic Games Minister, doubling her role as Minister for Women’s Emancipation since 2019.

The former athlete has competed in seven Olympics: four Winter Games in speed skating and three Summer Games in track cycling. In 1992, she won a bronze medal in the women’s 1,500-meter speed skating event in Albertville, France. Her parents allegedly gave her the name “Seika”, which means “Olympic torch” in Japanese. With the birth of her daughter in 2000, Ms. Hashimoto was the first politician in Japan to take maternity leave during her tenure – something she campaigned for when she was pregnant. She also became the first female lawyer in the upper house to give birth while in office. She is married to a policeman and is the mother of six children, including three stepchildren. Struggling with an Olympic-sized challenge. There have been calls for a woman to replace Yoshiro Mori after he resigned over his sexist comments.

When it was learned that Saburo Kawabuchi, 84, former president of the Japan Football Association, had agreed to take the job, some asked: don’t we have a younger woman or man who could do the job. The fact that Mr. Mori chose a successor also raised eyebrows. Last week, Seiko Hashimoto – then Minister of the Olympics called for the process to be transparent. Today, it is she who has taken over. Ms. Hashimoto is not without controversy in 2014, Japanese media published photos of her kissing figure skating champion Daisuke Takahashi and pointed out that she was 49 when he was 28. Ms. Hashimoto then confessed that she “regretted” his behavior, while Mr.

Takahashi clarified that he did not view it as sexual or power harassment. But that didn’t stop his detractors from assuming he must have been pressured to say so because of his position. Those critics are now unhappy with her nomination, saying it is just empty talk about choosing a woman in the wake of the Mori controversy. But Ms. Hashimoto has bigger concerns about how to host the Tokyo Games during a global pandemic, the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Japan, and declining public support due to the cost of the Games balloons.