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:

Hashimoto replaces Yoshiro Mori who was forced to resign last week after saying that women talk too much.

"We need to look at why he made such remarks. This includes background. This is not just Mr. Mori's matter, we need to look at everything and think about why it happened and find a solution for each issue. I think the Japanese public, especially those who signed the petition are still not convinced."

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.

"When looking at the situation of the coronavirus outbreak and many people are still anxious, so how should we respond to these concerns? I understand there are still many people in Japan who think that we shouldn't hold the Tokyo Games."

Hashimoto took part in four Winter Olympics as a speed skater and three Summer Olympics as a cyclist.