New Tokyo Games Chief Hashimoto to Leave LDP

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--Seiko Hashimoto, new president of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee, offered on Friday to leave Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Hashimoto, 56, tendered a letter of resignation to the LDP leadership due to concerns that party membership may give rise to doubt about her compliance with the political neutrality called for in the Olympic Charter.

She will not relinquish her seat in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, however.

"The International Olympic Committee said it's OK for me to continue to work as a political party lawmaker. But after hearing opinions from many people, I decided that I would not be able to win the understanding of the people (if I remain an LDP member)," Hashimoto told reporters after submitting the letter of resignation.

Earlier on Friday, Hashimoto told reporters that she would not secede from the LDP, but she reversed course after facing calls to reconsider from both ruling and opposition parties.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press