Yukimitsu Kano, the grandson of the founder of judo Jigoro Kano, will step down from his post as chairman of the All Japan Judo Federation and director of the Kodokan Judo Institute at the end of this month, the head council for Kodokan decided Friday.
Kano, 76, is expected to be replaced by judo federation senior director Haruki Uemura, 58, at both posts, meaning Uemura will become the first person outside the Kano family lineage to hold the country’s top position in judo.
“I was searching for the right time to quit. I actually was thinking of stepping down about two years ago but decided that it would be this year in March,” said Kano. “I had to be responsible in helping chose a successor and was very concerned. But Mr. Uemura really respects the Kodokan, loves judo and has a strong conviction.”