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Calls for judo chief Uemura's dismissal come from council members


In a direct challenge to Haruki Uemura, the embattled All Judo Federation Chairman who insists on staying the course despite calls for him to resign, members of its regional council have proposed discussing his dismissal.

The AJJF has agreed to reconvene a council meeting in the coming weeks.

Uemura has insisted on remaining at his post until he completes his mission to reform the scandal-tainted body, saying on Tuesday he plans to step down in October. However, several members of the regional council are asking that he resign sooner.

“We should hear varied opinions from the chairman and executive branch. The public feels that judo is in the midst of being abandoned,” council member Kenji Ryotokuji said Tuesday after the meeting. “This is a crucial stage. We have to debate whether the chairman should be removed.”

Due to procedural constraints, Uemura’s dismissal could not be tabled for debate Tuesday, but the chairman did authorize reconvening the council one month later. Ryotokuji, a member from Chiba Prefecture, raised a motion to not only fire Uemura but all of the current executives. There were also several council members who raised support for Uemura.

The council also approved the appointment of two-time Olympic gold medalist Ryoko Tani, currently a member of the House of Councilors, as one of the first three female directors on the executive board. House of Councilors member Seiko Hashimoto, chairwoman of the Japan Skating Federation, was approved as an outside board member.

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