Seiko Hashimoto, the chairwoman born for the Olympics

Hashimoto Seiko: Born in 1964 in Hokkaido, Japan. Former skater and cyclist, participated in the Winter and Summer Olympics many times. In 1995, he was elected as a senator and entered the political arena. Served as Deputy Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister in charge of the Olympics. In February 2021, he will be the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee.

After bidding farewell to Yoshiro Mori, who was prejudiced against women, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee finally ushered in a female chairperson who hoped to “extinguish the fire.”

On February 18, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee convened a board meeting to formally elect Hashimoto Seiko as the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee. Hashimoto immediately issued a “military order” at the meeting, stating that “the system will be perfected” to host “the Tokyo Olympics where everyone feels at ease and safe.” The next day, Hashimoto launched specific work and compiled a reform plan for the Olympic Organizing Committee, which included increasing the proportion of female directors of the Olympic Organizing Committee to 40% in order to promote equality between men and women.

At the beginning of the new year, the Tokyo Olympics, which has been in turbulent weather, experienced a double “earthquake”: First, the 84-year-old Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee Chairman Mori Yoshiro said that “women are a waste of time” remarks and made himself rush in 10 days. “Laid off”. Later, less than six weeks before the Olympic flame passed in Fukushima on March 25, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of Fukushima shocked people. The Tokyo Olympics, which has gone through all kinds of disasters, urgently needs the new chairman to bring “reassurance.”

Won the Olympic jersey seven times
Yoshiro Mori’s lightning resignation caught the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee by surprise. They urgently set up a new chairman selection committee, and 8 members quickly reached an agreement on the selection criteria: candidates must be recognized as having merit in sports, have a strong sense of responsibility and willpower for hosting the Olympics, and have prestige in the domestic political and business circles. Super strong organization, coordination and leadership ability, enjoy international influence, and have the status of a civil person. In addition, in order to redeem the negative impact of Yoshiro Mori’s omissions, the selection committee preferred the candidates to be professional athletes, and preferably women.

Within the Olympic Organizing Committee, the highest voice is the 57-year-old Olympic Minister Hashimoto, who is also one of the only two female ministers in the cabinet of Yoshihide Suga. On February 17, the selection committee claimed after the second meeting that Hashimoto was the only candidate recommended.

Hashimoto was born on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The word “Holy” in his name originated from the “Olympic torch”, so he was called the “person born for the Olympics” by the media. Her career trajectory is also closely related to the Olympics. She was the top female speed skater in Asia, participated in four Winter Olympics, and won the bronze medal in speed skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. At the same time, she is also Japan’s best track cyclist and has participated in three summer Olympics.

Many times the experience of participating in the Olympics made Hashimoto the first Japanese female athlete to participate in the Summer and Winter Olympics, and also the Japanese athlete who participated in the Olympics the most (seven times).

In 1995, Hashimoto was elected as a senator as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party and was re-elected many times, gradually becoming a star in Japanese politics. After entering politics, she did not leave her old line of business. She served as the head of the Japanese delegation for the Rio Olympic Games and other positions, and became the Olympic Minister in September 2019.

According to Japanese law, cabinet ministers are not allowed to work part-time, and Hashimoto must resign as minister to become chairman of the Olympic Organizing Committee. In accordance with the principle of “political neutrality” by the chairman of the Olympic Organizing Committee, she has to leave the Liberal Democratic Party to which she belongs. Once you leave the party, your membership will be deemed invalid. This is undoubtedly a loss for Hashimoto, who has been in politics for more than 25 years. However, in the face of burning eyebrows, these personal considerations are not worth mentioning. She submitted her letter of withdrawal from the CCP on the second day of taking office. After Hashimoto’s resignation, Suga Yoshihide has arranged for another woman, 50-year-old Marukawa Zhu, to take over as the Olympic minister. Marukawa Suyo held this position from August 2016 to August 2017, and he is considered to be familiar with the road.

When Hashimoto was “on the line”, an old news about her was heated up by the Japanese media again. After the closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the Japanese delegation hosted a celebration banquet. Hashimoto forcibly kissed figure skater Daisuke Takahashi at the banquet, which once aroused public attention. Some media referred to Hashimoto’s affectionate move “on the line” as a sexual assault. In this regard, Hashimoto once said: “If there is something that causes misunderstanding, I will seriously reflect on it.”

It’s not the first time that Yoshiro Mori has made a mistake
Hashimoto’s arrival is a solution to the old man Yoshiro Mori.

Yoshiro Mori is a veteran of Japanese politics. He participated in the House of Representatives election as a non-party in 1969 and was elected, and has since embarked on an official career. For more than 50 years in politics, he has not only been elected to the House of Representatives many times, but also took over Obuchi Keizo, who was unable to perform his duties due to a cerebral hemorrhage in 2000, and briefly served as the prime minister of Japan. However, it is such an old river and lake who has repeatedly stumbled because of his mistakes.

In May 2000, Yoshiro Mori publicly declared that “Japan is a country of gods centered on the emperor”, which caused a public outcry; in June 2003, he also stated that “for women who do not have children, the country will use taxes to provide welfare and care.” , It’s so weird.” Many women are deeply dissatisfied.

Not only was he silent, some key omissions in his work by Mori Yoshiro also became “stains” that he had been difficult to erase in his political career. In February 2001, the US nuclear submarine “Greenville” sank an “Ehime” fishery training ship piloted by a Japanese high school student in Hawaiian waters, killing 9 people. At the time of the incident, Yoshiro Mori, the Prime Minister of Japan, was playing golf. After receiving the report, he did not immediately return to the official residence to deal with the accident. Instead, under the name of “personal privacy” and “health management”, he continued to play before returning. The people were angry at Mori’s indifference and indifference.

On February 23, 1988, Seiko Hashimoto participated in the women’s 3000m speed skating competition at the Calgary Winter Olympics in Canada.

Yoshiro Mori, who stumbled all the way in his career, finally lost his black hat because of his “big mouth” at the age of 84. According to several Japanese media reports, at the Japan Olympic Organizing Committee meeting held on February 3, some members proposed to increase the proportion of female directors to more than 40%. Yoshiro Mori said: “Increase the women’s council and waste meeting time.” He said that women have a strong sense of competition. If one person raises their hands to speak and everyone else wants to speak, the time required will double. He also suggested limiting the time for women to speak at the meeting. This remark immediately caused an uproar. Yoshiro Mori issued an apology the next day and withdrew his inappropriate remarks, but he refused to resign at the time.

Seiko Hashimoto participated in the race as a Japanese track cyclist.

The public didn’t seem to buy into Mori’s apology. More than 700 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers announced their withdrawal from the volunteer service team due to Yoshiro Mori’s inappropriate remarks, and the two Olympic torchbearers withdrew from the relay activity. Many politicians including Yoshihide Suga also made speeches one after another, expressing concern about Yoshiro Mori’s remarks. Yoshihide Suga said: “This is completely contrary to the core concept of the Olympic and Paralympic Games-the participation of men and women is completely contrary to the words that should not appear.” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said bluntly, saying Yoshiro Mori’s comments to Tokyo. The Olympics “brought serious problems.”

On February 18, 2021, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee held a press conference. At the meeting, Seiko Hashimoto announced his succession as the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee.

On February 9, a number of female congressmen followed the white-clothed suffrage movement that emerged in the United States in the 20th century. They wore white clothing and white roses to attend the House of Representatives meeting that day. Some male congressmen passed the white rose brooch on their chests. Express support for the movement.

Under pressure from public opinion, Yoshiro Mori took the blame and resigned at the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee meeting held on February 12th. He said: “Because of my inappropriate speech, it caused a lot of confusion and caused a lot of trouble to everyone. I apologize here. I don’t want to be an obstacle in the preparation for the Olympics.”

The Tokyo Olympics “cursed”?

Yoshiro Mori, the former chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, resigned due to improper remarks.

On March 18, 2020, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso made a high-level statement: “The Tokyo Olympics is simply a cursed Olympics.” Aso is also a famous “big mouth”, and it has become a truth. Six days after he said this, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee announced that it would postpone the Tokyo Olympics, which were originally scheduled to be held in the summer of that year, to July 23, 2021.

Even after a one-year delay, there are still many uncertainties in the Tokyo Olympics.

According to Japan’s “Oriental News”, the number of people infected with the new crown virus in Japan has exceeded 410,000, and the number of people infected with the new crown virus in other countries has also remained high. At the same time, the mutated virus, which seems to be more contagious, has also exacerbated concerns that the crisis may worsen. On January 14 this year, Yoshihide Suga announced that the country had once again entered a state of emergency. Related measures included regulations to reduce sports events. The synchronized swimming Olympic qualifying competition originally scheduled to be held in March was also postponed for this reason. In order to prevent and control the epidemic, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee have proposed alternatives to control the number of spectators, such as “reducing the number of spectators by 50%” and “no spectators”. However, if the Olympic Games really adopt the “no spectator” countermeasures, it may face a loss of at least 90 billion yen (approximately 5.5 billion yuan) in ticket revenue.

In the past year, the Japanese government has been very active in fighting the epidemic and hopes to promote the smooth hosting of the Olympic Games. According to Bloomberg News, since last summer, Japan has held a number of events while controlling the number of spectators, accumulating experience in epidemic prevention in sports events. In November last year, the International Gymnastics Competition was held in Tokyo as a “test water” event for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. During the competition, the organizer adopted measures such as the entire floor of the hotel where only gymnastics teams from one country lived, and nucleic acid tests were done every day. In the end, the event ended successfully without infection.

On February 15 this year, Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan will officially launch the new crown vaccination campaign from February 17, which also added confidence to Japan in containing the epidemic before the Olympics. Obviously, after bidding farewell to the “big mouth” Mori who is unfriendly to women, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee eagerly hopes that Hashimoto can make good use of his own label of women, avant-garde, and senior athletes to calm the domestic restless mood.

Although Hashimoto’s appointment does not mean that various difficulties can be easily solved, as an Olympic athlete, she knows better than anyone what the Olympic Games every four years means to athletes. Therefore, she advocated from the beginning that the Tokyo Olympics should be held as scheduled this year, and said that Tokyo will host the Olympics “at all costs”. However, whether Hashimoto can “transit” for the Tokyo Olympics, and whether there will be new variables in the remaining five months, is still unknown.