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Japan appoints female Olympic head after sexism row

A woman who has competed in seven Olympic Games has been named president of Tokyo 2020.Seiko Hashimoto resigned as Olympics minister on Thursday, paving the way for her to take up the role of head of the Olympic Organising Committee.She said she had the backing of Japan’s Prime Minister:”Suga said kind words that if I become a president of the organizing committee, he hopes me to do my utmost effort to make the Tokyo Games welcomed by the Japanese people, and he also said the government would firmly support that.”Hashimoto replaces Yoshiro Mori who was forced to resign last week after saying that women talk too much.The sexism row that his comments stirred marked a fresh blow to the Games, which have already been delayed by a year due to the health crisis.A recent poll in Japan showed that 80% of the public thought it shouldn’t go ahead as scheduled in July.The saga also shone a spotlight on the deep rooted sexism that still exists in Japanese society.Hashimoto will bring a wealth of experience to the role.A lawmaker in Japan’s ruling party, she has served as the Olympics minister, doubling as minister for women’s empowerment, since 2019.Hashimoto took part in four Winter Olympics as a speed skater and three Summer Olympics as a cyclist.

Angelia S. Rico

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