Remarks from HASHIMOTO Seiko: the new President of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, at her first Executive Board Meeting

Newly appointed Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee President HASHIMOTO Seiko
Newly appointed Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee President HASHIMOTO Seiko

Good afternoon, distinguished board members.

I am very honoured to be elected as President of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is a big responsibility to be the President of the Tokyo Organising Committee. It is sobering. Earlier today, I submitted a request to Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide to resign as Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s office. I would like to thank the members of the Tokyo Organising Committee for their support during this time.

It was a big decision for me to resign as Minister, but I stand here with the desire to make the Tokyo 2020 Games a success.

I think the Tokyo 2020 Games, which are five months away, must be a safe and secure event with COVID-19 countermeasures being the most important factor. As the Minister of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I have been doing my best to support various organisations including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo Organising Committee, the IOC and the IPC. As part of the Tokyo Organising Committee, I will further accelerate efforts to build a collaborative framework with the national government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to convince everyone, both in Japan and around the world, that Tokyo 2020 is “the safe and secure Games.”

In addition, my appointment as President is important for gender equality. At the recent joint round-table conference between the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Organising Committee, it was decided to increase the proportion of women within the Board of Directors and to create a team to promote gender equality. I think we have to work on this quickly. It is important to come up with working groups and produce results within a month, and I appreciate all your efforts with this matter.

Diversity and Inclusion is the vision of the Tokyo 2020 Games, but I would like all members of the Organising Committee to confirm this first. I would like to create a legacy that recognises everyone, regardless of gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, etc., and build a society where they can coexist.

The Tokyo 2020 Games have been postponed for the first time in Olympic history. Postponement is something no-one has ever experienced. We will create a working team within the Organising Committee to propose a template for how to run an Olympic and Paralympic Games in this challenging environment, including diversity, to the IOC, IPC and the government, and how to utilise this experience for the future.

I believe the meaning and mission of the Tokyo 2020 Games will not exist unless the Organising Committee has the power to have the vision for this. To that end, I would like to make every effort to achieve the success of the Tokyo Organising Committee, as the President of the Organising Committee, utilising the most of my experience.