Japanese men are pushing back against the replacement of the Olympics chief with a woman by saying she’s committed unwanted kissing in the past.
Japan’s Seiko Hashimoto has been named the new head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after former chief Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign amid a sexism row, but Hashimoto herself has had to contend with past allegations of harassment.
Hashimoto was confirmed as the new head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee on Thursday, following the resignation in disgrace of the 83-year-old Mori after he was accused of sexism for claiming women talked too much during meetings.
Hashimoto, 56, is a seven-time former Olympian, having competed as a speed skater and cyclist for her country at the Winter and Summer Games, earning a bronze medal in the women’s 1,500m speed skating in Albertville in 1992.
Already a prominent politician, Hashimoto resigned from her role as Olympic minister to take on the position as Tokyo 2020 organizing chief with five months remaining before the delayed Games get underway in the Japanese capital on July 23.
Back in 2014, Hashimoto was accused of sexually harassing popular Japanese figure skating star Daisuke Takahashi during a party at the Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.
Images circulated showing Hashimoto hugging and kissing the star, in what some sections of the Japanese press suggested were unwanted advances.
@cnnbrk Seiko Hashimoto won the top of the Tokyo Olympics.She forced a skater named Daisuke Takahashi to make a deep kiss. It was reported on suspicion of sexual harassment and power harassment.But she didn't explain it.We don't have habit of kissing in public except for lovers. pic.twitter.com/fNBR8KfoiN
— 神松寺 暁 (@seven_sea_ships) February 17, 2021
Hashimoto apologized at the time, saying “my behavior was shameful and I am reflecting deeply on that,” but denying allegations of harassment and saying she had merely shown Takahashi the same affections bestowed on other athletes.
Takahashi himself also said he “did not feel he was a victim of power or sexual harassment.”
Hashimoto was forced to address the claims again after her appointment on Thursday, telling a news conference: “Both then and now, I deeply regret my behavior.”
I tend to think that the “fight leftist kook nonsense with kook nonsense” strategy is not great, but if it slows them down and trips them up, people might as well do it.