TOKYO—The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee named a cabinet minister and female Olympic bronze medalist as its new chief after the previous leader resigned over sexist remarks.
Seiko Hashimoto, 56, becomes one of the few women atop a major organization in Japan, where almost all big-company chief executives are men. However, the appointment brings its own controversy because of an incident at the Winter Games seven years ago when Ms. Hashimoto was accused of harassing a male athlete.
The decision Thursday comes just five months before the scheduled opening of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on July 23, with much still uncertain about how the Games can proceed under pandemic conditions. Officials say they haven’t decided whether to let in foreign spectators.
Japan began vaccinating its population against Covid-19 this week under a schedule that makes it likely most people won’t have shots by the start of the Games. The International Olympic Committee is encouraging athletes to get shots, although it says vaccination isn’t a prerequisite for competing at the Games.
Ms. Hashimoto has been a member of Parliament’s upper house since 1995 and served in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet as Olympics minister, a post she gave up to take on the presidency of the Olympic organizing committee.