Japan’s seven-time Olympian Seiko Hashimoto has been appointed president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, replacing Yoshiro Mori who quit last week after making sexist comments.
Hashimoto, who was appointed as a new board member in an earlier afternoon meeting, was approved as its new president later on Thursday.
The 56-year-old promised that the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games will be held in a “safe and secure” manner this summer, adding that she will improve gender equality at the committee, according to Kyodo news agency.
Hashimoto, Japan’s Chef de Mission at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, resigned from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet as Olympics minister on Thursday morning, paving the way to take up her new post.
Tamayo Marukawa, a former television anchor and a member upper house of Japan’s National Diet, is expected to start her second spell as the country’s Olympics minister, a position she held from 2016 to 2017.
Tokyo 2020’s eight-member selection committee chose Hashimoto the top candidate to replace Mori as the president on Wednesday.
Hashimoto, who won a bronze medal in the 1,500m speed skating event at the 1992 Winter Games, has served as the Olympics minister since September 11, 2019.