japantimes– A veteran who knows the ins and outs of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, or a new, young face to give the impression that the organizing committee is starting afresh?
That is the question now hanging over the Tokyo Organising Committee panel tasked with selecting the successor to its former president, Yoshiro Mori, who resigned Friday over sexist remarks earlier this month. Chaired by the committee’s Honorary Chairman Fujio Mitarai, 85, on Tuesday it held a meeting to begin the search for the replacement.
The eight-member panel is expected to discuss the selection criteria first and then come up with a candidate, or candidates, to step into the role.
Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the organizing committee, told reporters Friday that a successor needs to have a certain background in the Olympics and Paralympics as well as a high awareness of gender equality and inclusiveness.
Whoever is chosen faces a daunting task, with the replacement having to deal with domestic and international anger over the powerful former prime minister’s remarks.
The new president will also be appointed to the post less than six months before the Tokyo Olympics and amid skepticism over whether the games can safely take place during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The following people are some of those who have surfaced as possible candidates.
Yasuhiro Yamashita, 63
The chairman of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) is a judo champion who won a gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and has been involved with numerous associations promoting the sport.
There have been calls for a woman or a person with a well-rounded political background to assume the post. But advocates say Yamashita’s experience with the JOC and his deep knowledge of and connections to Japan’s political establishment and the international Olympic associations qualifies him as a candidate — especially with less than six months to go until the opening ceremony.