March 17 - Canon chairman Fujio Mitarai has been appointed Honorary President of Tokyo 2020 while seven women have been added to the previously all-male Executive Board, it was announced today.
As reported on insidethegames last week, Tokyo 2020 has appointed the women following worldwide criticism that its Organising Committee, led by former Japan Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori and former Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Toshiro Muto, was made up of former male politicians in their 60s and 70s and lacked female representatives or former athletes.
The women added include Yuko Arakida, a member of the Japanese volleyball team that won the Olympic gold medals at Montreal 1976.
The 60-year-old had served as sports director during Tokyo's successful bid.
Another notable name is Seiko Hashimoto, Chef de Mission of Japan's Olympic team at Sochi 2014 and who competed in a record seven Summer and Winter Games.
Several other top female athletes have also been added, including double Olympic judo gold medallist Ayumi Tanimoto, 32, and 26-year-old Rie Tanaka, a gymnast who represented Japan at London 2012.
The Paralympics is represented by 43-year-old former swimmer Mayumi Narita, winner of a record 20 medals, including 15 golds, between 1996 and 2004.
There is also a role for Akio Toyoda, the 57-year-old President and chief executive of Toyoto Motor Corporation, one of the world's biggest companies.
A total of 28 new members were added to the Executive Board, including 39-year-old Koji Murofushi, the Athens 2004 hammer champion.
A number of leading Japanese cultural figures were also named, including music producer Yasushi Akimoto, the 55-year-old who is behind the success of the popular girl group AKB48, along with renowned photographer and film director Mika Ninagawa, 41..
Saburo Kawabuchi, a former Japanese international footballer and founder of the J-League, was appointed to lead the ruling Council Board, which approved the new Executive Board during a meeting at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters.
"I think [the selection of these members] is good as there is variety," the 77-year-old told Kyodo News.
Muto claimed the new appointments - which take the total members of the Executive Board to 34 - would help end international criticism and was more representative of Japanese society.
"Women, Olympians and Paralympians joined [the Board], so now we have the 'All Japan' organisation put in place," Muto told Kyodo News.
Mitarai, 78, will be a figurehead for Tokyo 2020.
He is considered one of Japan's most innovative businessmen after using a unique blend of eastern and western managerial styles to mould Canon into a highly successful company.
The new Executive Board is set to meet for the first time next week when a number of leading appointments including a vice-president, are due to be discussed.
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