February 9 - Japan's former Health Minister Yoichi Masuzoe was today elected the new Governor of Tokyo, promising to make the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics "a success".
The 65-year-old, a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, replaces Naoki Inose, who resigned in December over a financial scandal.
"I will make Tokyo the world's number one city," Masuzoe told supporters.
"I want to work on social welfare, disaster preparedness, the economy and especially to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a success."
Masuzoe will now take his place alongside new Tokyo 2020 President former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori and chief executive, former Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Toshiro Muto, in helping deliver the Olympics and Paralympics.
His election came as Mori and Muto faced more searching questions here about the lack of diversity in the recently announced Organising Committee - particularly the shortage of female officials - their ages and lack of language skills.
Mori, 76, was visibly agitated with the questions, particularly the fact questioning whether he was capable of carrying out such a high profile international role when he speak such limited English, claiming it was the "enemy's language".
"I was in second grade when the war [World War Two] ended and until then English was considered the enemy's language," said Mori, whose brief year spell as Japan's Prime Minister in 2000 and 2001 was marked the high number of gaffes he made.
"If I should make a huge mistake [by speaking English incorrectly] it could lead to problems."
His anger raising, he then pointedly asked: "Can you come to Japan and speak Japanese?"
But he did promise to address the lack of female representation and try to give it a more youthful look.
"We will probably have 35-30 members on the [Tokyo 2020] Executive board and we will take care to have female members and young people as well," said Mori.
Masuzoe will at least bring some language skills to the Tokyo 2020 team as he studied in France and Switzerland and is fluent in English and French.
Masuzoe, backed by Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, was the winner by a wide margin, according to media exit polls.
Even before most votes were counted, Masuzoe's opponents conceded defeat.
"It is excellent news, and I offer my sincere congratulations to him," said Mori.
"As the successful delivery of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was one of his main campaign objectives, I am especially happy to learn that Mr Masuzoe has been elected as the new Governor of Tokyo.
"He will be a key member of our organising team, and I am confident that he will provide invaluable support to our efforts to organise the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2014: Tokyo 2020 officials not too old, claims executive director
January 2014: Tokyo 2020 unveils Organising Committee amid fears over ages of top officials
January 2014: Former top banker tipped for leading role with Tokyo 2020
January 2014: Tokyo Governor candidates lay out plans for 2020 Olympics
January 2014: Former Japanese Prime Minister Mori tipped for leading Tokyo 2020 role