Lausanne [Switzerland], February 18 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday welcomed the decision of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board to appoint seven-time Olympian Hashimoto Seiko as the new president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
She was until today the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment, and Minister of State for Gender Equality in the Government of Japan.
IOC President Thomas Bach in an official statement congratulated his fellow Olympian Seiko on her appointment. " With her great Olympic experience, having won a medal, participated in seven editions of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, and having led Japan's delegation to the Olympic Games multiple times, she is the perfect choice for this position," he said.
"She will ensure that the focus in the final months of preparation remains on the athletes' experience while planning all the necessary COVID-19 countermeasures," Bach said.
He added that with the appointment of a woman as President, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee is also sending a very important signal with regard to gender equality, which is one of the topics we addressed in Olympic Agenda 2020, the reform programme for the IOC and the Olympic Movement.
"We stand ready to support the OCOG and other organisations in their desired aims within their spheres of responsibility," Bach said.
On February 12, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organising committee head Yoshiro Mori announced his resignation over his remarks about women talking too much, which were branded "sexist" at home and abroad.
The 83-year-old former Prime Minister stepped down seven years after being appointed president of the organising body by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mori made the announcement at a special meeting of its executive members.
Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said at a press conference that she received a phone call from Mori on Thursday morning and was told of his planned resignation, Kyodo News reported.
"The government will make further efforts to restore trust and firmly disseminate the big concept of diversity and harmony, both domestically and internationally," Hashimoto said.
On February 3, Mori complained about what he believes is women's tendency to talk too much and to have "a strong sense of rivalry" when he was asked about increasing gender diversity among board members of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).
However, a day later he issued an apology but insisted that he has no plan to step down.
He made the comments in a JOC meeting held online and open to the media. The JOC board has 25 members, of whom five are women.
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 while the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5. (ANI)