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Saburo Kawabuchi will not head Tokyo Olympic organizing committee

Saburo Kawabuchi, former head of the Japan Football Association, is seen in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward in this March 19, 2019 photo. (Mainichi)
Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto is seen heading to a Cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Feb. 12, 2021. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Saburo Kawabuchi, former head of the Japan Football Association, will not take over Yoshiro Mori's role as president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games following Mori's suggestion of his intention to step down over sexist remarks, it has been learned.

    According to an organizing committee official, Mori and Kawabuchi held talks in Tokyo on Feb. 11, and Kawabuchi agreed that he would take over Mori's position as long as they received the consent of related parties. But Mori's choice of a successor came under fire as "closed-door politics," and the plan was retracted overnight.

    Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Feb. 12 that a decision over who will succeed Mori as president has yet to be made.

    Kawabuchi, 84, was tapped by Mori as his successor after the 83-year-old former prime minister said he would step down to take responsibility for his comments.

    During a press conference following a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 12, Hashimoto repeatedly said, "It's still undecided." She called for the next committee president to be selected after taking formal procedures.


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