Seiko Hashimoto, a seven-time Olympian in cycling and speed skating, and former Olympic minister has been named chief of the Tokyo Games, replacing Yoshiro Mori, who resigned last Friday over sexist remarks he made about women earlier this month.
“On boards with a lot of women, the board meetings take so much time. Women have a strong sense of competition. If one person raises their hand, others probably think, I need to say something too. That’s why everyone speaks,” said Mori.
“If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” Mori continued. “We have about seven women at the organizing committee but everyone understands their place.”
The BBC reports: “Ms Hashimoto isn’t without controversy – in 2014, Japanese media ran pictures of her kissing figure skating champion Daisuke Takahashi, and noted she was 49 then while he was 28. Ms Hashimoto later said she “regretted” her behaviour, while Mr Takahashi said he didn’t consider it to be sexual or power harassment. But that didn’t stop her critics from speculating that he must have been pressured to say so due to her position. Those critics are now not pleased with her appointment, saying it is just lip service to choose a woman following the Mori controversy.”
Said Hashimoto at a meeting in which she was chosen as the new chief: “As I’m taking on such a grave responsibility… I feel I need to brace myself.”