TOKYO (AP) – Seiko Hashimoto has appeared in seven Olympics, four in winter and three in summer – the most by any “multi-season” athlete in sports.
She On Thursday, more history was made in Japan, where women are still less in the boardrooms and positions of political power.
Hashimoto, 56, was named chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee after its executive board meeting, which is 80% male. She The former Prime Minister of Japan replaces 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, who was forced to resign last week after making lewd remarks with women.
Essentially, he said that women talk too much.
Hashimoto quoted an interpreter as saying, “Now I’m here as an athlete to return what I’m doing and what I got.”
Hashimoto was serving as an Olympic minister in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet. She Also placed a portfolio to deal with gender equality and women empowerment. She He said he would be replaced as Olympic minister by Tamio Marukawa.
She Repeatedly raised the issue of gender equality, and focused on the problems of the organizing committee, which is male-dominated, with no female vice president and an executive board consisting of 80% of men. It employs around 3,500 people.
“Certainly, it is very important what Tokyo 2020 does about gender equality as an organizing committee,” she said, sitting between two men – CEO Toshiro Muto and spokesperson Masa Takaya. “I think practicing equality will be important for Tokyo 2020.”
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Hashimoto was the “right choice” for the job.
Bach said in a statement, “With the appointment of a woman as president, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is also sending a very important signal regarding gender equality.”
Hashimoto competed rapidly in three Summer Olympics (1988, 1992 and 1996) and four Winter Olympics (1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994). She Won the bronze medal – his only medal at the 1992 Albertville Games – at a fast pace.
Historian Dr. According to Bill Mellon, he has the most seven appearances by any “multi-season” athlete in sports.
Speaking about Hashimoto after Japan-born Naomi Osaka’s semi-final win over Serena Williams at the Australian Open, she said “you are not tolerating a lot of things to the new generation.”
Osaka said, “I think it’s really cool because you’re breaking down barriers, especially for women.” “We have to fight for a lot of things just to be equal. Even a lot of things we still are not equal.”
The new president is involved with the Olympics in many ways. She Born in Hokkaido, northern Japan, just five days before the 1964 Tokyo Games opening ceremony. Her name “Seiko” comes from “Seika”, which translates into English as the Olympic flame.
According to reports circulating widely in Japan, Hashimoto was reluctant to take the job and was one of the three final candidates considered by the selection committee headed by Fujio Mitrai, 85, of camera company Canon.
The selection committee met for three consecutive days, in the midst of an epidemic with postponing the open Olympics in just five months and facing myriad problems.
Polls show that 80% of the Japanese public wants the Olympics to be canceled or postponed. There are fears about bringing thousands of athletes and others to Japan who have controlled coronaviruses better than most countries.
There is also opposition to rising costs.
The official cost is $ 15.4 billion, though many government audits say the price is at least $ 25 billion, the most expensive summer Olympics on record according to a University of Oxford study.
Naming a woman can be a breakthrough for gender equality in Japan, where women are represented in boarders and politics. Japan ranks 121 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s annual gender equality ranking.
Mori tried to land 84-year-old Saburo Kavabuchi, the former head of the country’s football federation, last week before stepping down. But reports of the closed-off deal were widely criticized by social media in Japanese talk show and newspaper reports.
Kawabuchi quickly backed away from further consideration.
Hashimoto is not without his critics. Daisuke Takahashi skater her kiss figure at a party during the Sochi Olympics ran of 2014. A Japanese magazine in the photos suggested sexual harassment, or power harassment. She He later apologized, and Takahashi said he was not bothered.
“Regarding my reckless actions, I feel sorry for an action I took seven years ago,” he asked about it on Thursday. “Back then as well as today, I am still reflecting on myself and what I have done – and how it has evolved.”
Two other former Olympians were also reported to be running for Mori’s job: Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, who won a gold medal in judo in 1984, and Mikako Kotani, who won two bronze medals in synchronized swimming in 1988. . Seoul Olympics
Kotani is the sports director for the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee. The committee is dominated by men, who make up 80% of the executive board.
Japan began vaccinating on Wednesday, an important step that could boost the Olympics. It is several months behind from Britain, America and other countries.
Extensive vaccination is unlikely in Japan when the Olympics opened on July 23 with 11,000 athletes, followed by the Paralympics on August 24 with 4,400 athletes. The plan is to place athletes in the “bubble” in the Athletes Village, at venues and in training areas. The IOC has said it will not require “participants” to vaccinate, but it is encouraging.
In addition to the athletes, thousands of officials, media, sponsors and broadcasters must also enter Japan. Many of them will operate outside of the “bubble” at an Olympics run by television and have billions to gain from selling broadcast rights to the IOC.
The torch relay, which begins March 25 in northeast Japan, can be considered the first challenge for Hashimoto. It would break up the country with around 10,000 runners, and conclude at the opening ceremony in Tokyo.