TOKYO (JAPAN) – After former chief Yoshiro Mori resigned over sexist remarks, Tokyo Olympic organisers are preparing to choose their new president as early as this week, a report said on Monday.
With just five months left to prepare for the Games amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local organisers need to “urgently” pick a new president. They are setting up a selection committee made up of an equal number of men and women, the group’s chief executive Toshiro Muto said last week.
The selection committee will hold its first meeting at the start of this week, reported local media. However, the process could carry over into next week if there is a large number of candidates, the report said.
Among those being considered for the position are Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, a pioneering female lawmaker and seven-time Olympian who is one of only two women in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet, media have said.
Others whose names have been thrown in to succeed Mori include Mikako Kotani, a two-time Olympian in synchronised swimming, now known as artistic swimming, who serves on the Japanese Olympic Committee, and Upper House lawmaker Tamayo Marukawa, a previous Olympics Minister.
A former Olympic gold medallist backstroke swimmer Daichi Suzuki, who has served as commissioner of the Japan Sport Agency, an organisation aiming to promote sport nationwide, is another name that has been suggested.
Another person being considered for the role was Koji Murofushi, a former Olympic gold medallist hammer thrower who has served as the agency’s commissioner since October after succeeding Suzuki.
Mori’s handpicked successor, former Japan Football Association president Saburo Kawabuchi, 84, on Friday declined the job after publicly accepting it earlier, news reports said.
The Summer Olympics, which were postponed last year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to open July 23.