JOC official Hashimoto issues apology after unflattering magazine report is published

Japan Skating Federation president denies allegations that she sexually harassed figure skater Daisuke Takahashi

Kyodo

Upper House member and Japanese Olympic Committee official Seiko Hashimoto on Saturday apologized for trouble caused by a report which claimed she sexually harassed Vancouver Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi.

“I am deeply sorry for the concern and the trouble I caused everyone from the report about my behavior,” Hashimoto, who has already denied the allegations, said in a statement.

An article in the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine that went on sale Wednesday, said the 49-year-old Hashimoto — who is also president of the Japan Skating Federation and a bronze medalist herself in speed skating at the 1992 Winter Games — forced Takahashi into letting her repeatedly kiss him during a party after the Sochi Olympics in February.

The story was accompanied by photos of Hashimoto hugging and kissing the 28-year-old heartthrob amid the alcohol-fueled bash held at the athletes’ village.

“The party was organized to celebrate the athletes’ efforts and recognize their services, but my behavior was shameful and I am reflecting deeply on that,” said Hashimoto.

Takahashi’s management team had also said on Wednesday that he was not harassed by Hashimoto.

“Takahashi does not feel he was a victim of power or sexual harassment,” Takahashi’s representatives said.

The JOC has spoken to both Hashimoto and Takahashi and concluded that the kiss was not forced. Hashimoto will continue in her current posts.

“We have looked at the whole picture and as a result, we are not thinking of making this into a problem,” JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda said on Friday.