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Tokyo Olympics committee to start from scratch in selecting new chief

  • February 13, 2021
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The Saturday editions of all national dailies reported extensively that Tokyo Olympics organizing committee President Mori formally announced on Friday his resignation to take responsibility for his sexist remarks. Former Chairman of the Japan Football Association Kawabuchi, who had been informally tapped by Mori to take over his post, took himself out of the running amid rising criticism that it was utterly inappropriate for someone who was stepping down in disgrace to pick his successor without consulting other stakeholders. Prime Minister Suga, who had been hesitant to get involved in the selection of Mori’s successor, moved to block Kawabuchi from assuming the portfolio based on the assessment that the administration would come under fire if it allowed the former premier to install a “puppet” in the top committee post. Suga admitted at the Diet yesterday that he pressured the organizing committee not to endorse Kawabuchi. “I strongly told the committee that ensuring transparency in electing a new president will be indispensable to making the Olympics an event that people can embrace wholeheartedly.” Public opinion surveys conducted by Asahi and Mainichi found that seven out of ten respondents felt it was a matter of course for Mori to step down.

 

The organizing committee reportedly launched a selection panel comprised of equal numbers of women and men with the goal of electing a new leader as soon as possible. Olympics Minister Hashimoto, former Olympics Minister Marukawa, former Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency Suzuki, and current Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency Murofushi have emerged as leading candidates.

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