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The Tokyo Olympics Has Appointed 12 Women To Its Board After Naming A New Woman President

The Tokyo Olympics has appointed 12 women to its executive board in a symbolic gesture toward gender equality.

The announcement comes after Seiko Hashimoto took over the position of Tokyo Olympics Committee chief. She replaced 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese president, who received backlash after he said that women talk too much in meetings.

The new board members include Olympic medalists, long distance runner Naoko Takahashi and Paralympic alpine skiier Kuniko Obinata.

The other members include professors, lawyers and business representatives.

Prior to the new appointments, only five out of 24 members were women, which was approximately 20%.

Naoko Takahashi, Olympic medalist and long distance runner, is amongst 11 other women added to Tokyo Olympic's executive board.
Takahashi on the podium after winning gold in the Womens Marathon at the Olympic Stadium of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mike Powell / Allsport)

The decision came after a board meeting that agreed upon changing the maximum number of board members from 35 to 45.

With the new appointments, women now make up 42% of the board.

“It is possible to add 12 more members, so we decided to add 12 women to the board of directors,” the committee’s CEO Toshiro Muto said, according to the BBC.

In 2019, the Olympic Committee set a goal of raising the number of women on the board of directors to 40%.

Kuniko Obinata, Olympic medalist and Paralympic alpine skiier, is amongst 11 other women added to Tokyo Olympic's executive board.
Obinata celebrates winning bronze medal for the Women’s Sitting Giant Slalom of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics at Whistler Medals Plaza on Mar. 16, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

After taking over the role, Hashimoto said that she believed it was necessary to “take swift action and provide solid results in order to rebuild trust in the organizing committee,” AP reported.

The appointments come just five months before the Tokyo Olympics begin and are unlikely to have any long term impact as the committee of 3,500 people will be dissolved after the Olympics take place.

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