New Tokyo Games Chief Hashimoto Faces Mixed Reactions

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--Citizens showed mixed reactions to the news that Seiko Hashimoto became new president of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee on Thursday to replace Yoshiro Mori, who quit over his recent controversial remarks about women.

"I feel anxious about the leadership change" about a month ahead of the start of the Olympic torch relay, said Shinya Sasaki, a 19-year-old vocational school student from Tokyo's Ota Ward.

Sasaki, who was in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, when the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern regions of Japan, including Iwate, is slated to run as a torchbearer in the relay "to let the world see the recovery" of areas devastated by the disaster. "I want the new organizing committee chief to successfully implement measures against the novel coronavirus and issue a message of postdisaster reconstruction," he said.

"I was relieved to see a woman chosen" as the new chief of the committee, said Mayumi Takahashi, 58, from the city of Shiki in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, who is slated to work as a volunteer in the games. Noting Hashimoto's abundant Olympic experience, Takahashi said: "I'm sure she knows about Olympics and Paralympics more than anybody else. I hope Hashimoto will do something so that the Tokyo Games will be held in a complete form as much as possible."

Hashimoto is "the most reliable person," Toshimitsu Furuya, an 86-year-old resident of Tokyo's Itabashi Ward, said. "I'm happy that she agreed to become the organizing committee's president although she looks certain to face a host of challenges."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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