Games organizing board takes shape

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

The executive board of the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics appointed six vice presidents Wednesday, including Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda.

All 34 of the board’s members, who have been appointed over the past few months, were gathered for the first time in Tokyo.

“Sports inspired people following the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Toyoda said at the board meeting. “I learned many things through sports. As a member of the board, I’d like to return a favor to sports and help bring a smile to the people of the world.”

Also the head of Keidanren’s sports promotion committee, Toyoda noted he was tasked, together with the business lobby’s former chairman, Fujio Mitarai, who serves as honorary president of the organizing committee, to coordinate with the business community.

“We received support from more than 160 countries and regions after the disaster three years ago,” Mitarai said at a news conference. “In response to that encouragement, Japan needs to rejuvenate its economy completely and achieve successful reconstruction (of the Tohoku region).”

Seven board members are women, apparently in response to a call by the International Olympic Committee for more female representation.

Also on the board are Koji Murofushi, who won gold in the hammer in 2004, and judoka Ayumi Tanimoto, a gold medalist in 2004 and 2008.