Ranking judo official admits sex harassment

Kyodo

A director of the All Japan Judo Federation offered Friday to resign to take the blame for his unwanted sexual advance toward a top female athlete.

Jiro Fukuda, 76, admitted that he forcibly hugged and tried to kiss the woman in a Tokyo subway elevator in December 2011, though he said his memory of the incident is vague because he was drunk at the time.

The resignation offer came soon after the federation announced it was launching a special team to investigate the athlete’s accusations.

Former judoka Noriko Mizoguchi revealed the incident Thursday at a Tokyo symposium on eradicating harassment in sports.

The victim, who has competed in national championships, contacted Mizoguchi on May 13 and met with attorney Masaki Sakaida on Tuesday.

Mizoguchi said the athlete promptly took the matter to a federation executive, but no action was taken.

The federation has been under siege this year following claims by 15 female athletes that they had been subjected to physical abuse and harassment.

Mizoguchi referenced the abuse scandal when she called this latest revelation “the 16th claim,” adding that “it would not be surprising to see this end up as a criminal case.”