Sport Tokyo Olympics board gets 12 new female members
Torch relay plan stirs concern from Japanese official
US-OLYMPICS-2020-TORCHRELAY:Torch relay plan stirs concern from Japanese officialThe Tokyo Summer Games have already been marred by an unprecedented delay, strong public opposition, and the recent resignation of Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo organising committee, over sexist remarks.
Tokyo Olympics organisers approved 12 new female executive board members on Wednesday, less than two weeks after appointing a woman president in the wake of an embarrassing sexism row.
The appointments increase female representation on the Tokyo 2020 board from 20 percent to just over 40 percent, meeting a target set by Seiko Hashimoto when she took over as president last month.
Seven-time Olympian Hashimoto replaced 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, who resigned after his claims that women talk too much in meetings sparked an outcry in Japan and abroad.
Virus delay, sexism row: Tokyo's turbulent Olympic timeline
From a historic coronavirus postponement, to a sexism row prompting its top organiser to resign, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have faced many hurdles. - February 2021: Sexism furore - Yoshiro Mori, chief of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, resigns after his claims that women talk too much in meetings spark a firestorm of criticism. "When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn't restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying," the gaffe-prone 83-year-old said.
"Raising the proportion to 42 percent sends a message to various groups, to the sporting world and the whole society, and we hope it will have an impact," said Hashimoto, who was one of just two women in Japan's cabinet until she stepped down to take up her new post.
"We are increasing the numbers and welcoming people from all different fields of expertise."
Games chiefs agreed to amend their rules to accommodate the new appointments, allowing a maximum of 45 board members, up from the previous 35.
There were previously seven women on the executive board.
The new board members include two athletes -- Sydney Olympics marathon gold-medallist Naoko Takahashi and double Paralympic alpine skiing champion Kuniko Obinata.
The other 10 members are drawn from various fields such as sports administration, business and academia, including Mitsue Haga, a representative of Japan's indigenous Ainu people.
Olympic Shuffle Highlights Japan’s Missed Target for New Leaders
The shuffling of senior Olympic leadership positions in Japan has put a spotlight on an uncomfortable truth in the country: After years of public statements in support of women in leadership, there still don’t seem to be enough to go around. In its search for a replacement for Yoshiro Mori, 83, who resigned last week after disparaging women for talking too much, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee landed on former athlete Seiko Hashimoto. But she already had a job in the cabinet, as Minister for the Olympics and held the gender equality portfolio.
"One of the basic principles of Olympism is that everyone is equal," said Hashimoto.
"For Japan, the wonderful traditional culture of the Ainu people is a big legacy."
Tsuyoshi Fukui, a male board member who is also on the board of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), resigned from his Tokyo 2020 role on Tuesday.
Mori quit as president after domestic and international outcry over remarks he made in early February to members of the JOC.
He apologised for the sexist remarks, while insisting he was repeating complaints made by others, but then dug a deeper hole when he explained that he "doesn't speak to women much".
Hashimoto was nominated as president after Mori's attempt to handpick his successor -- an 84-year-old ex-footballer -- was nixed following public criticism.
IOC to pay for extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine for athletes .
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) and China will offer COVID-19 vaccines for athletes participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to the Associated Press. IOC president Thomas Bach said the IOC would pay for additional doses so that the general public in the countries that participate can also receive vaccines. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to begin July 23, 2021. Despite taking place in 2021, the event will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Can the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be held safely? In January, the Tokyo Olympics committee said it was trying to "simplify" the games to prevent COVID-19 transmission.