Less than six months before the start of the Olympic Summer Games, Tokyo 2020 has announced a new president, Seiko Hashimoto, who will succeed Yoshiro Mori. Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, stepped down from the post following controversial comments about women and their role in leadership positions.
Hashimoto is an Olympian who competed in seven Games (four winter in speedskating, three summer in track cycling), winning a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. She has also served as a senior executive board member of the Japanese Olympic Committee, led Japan’s Olympic delegation to the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games, and served as deputy delegation lead to the London 2012 Games. Hashimoto has also held other prominent positions in sports organizations, including roles as president of the Japan Skating Federation, president of the Japan Cycling Federation and president of the Japan Intellectual Disability Athletics Federations.
“Today I am honored to be appointed president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee,” she said. “With five months to the Games, this role is an immense and sobering responsibility. Looking ahead to the summer, we must make safety the ultimate priority and do everything possible to prepare a Games where everyone may feel safe and secure.”
Hashimoto said she will also be committed to pursuing issues of gender equality. “The circumstances surrounding the appointment of a new president have made the question of how Tokyo 2020 and the Games can further the cause of gender equality one of intense interest to many people. I intend to approach this question with a sense of urgency and within the month set forth a system for implementation and begin delivering results,” she said.