Women's Sports: Seiko Hashimoto is the New Olympic Minister

JAPAN-POLITICS

Seiko Hashimoto is Japan's new Olympic Minister ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The former speed skating champion was rubber-stamped on the 11th of September by Japan's Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe. In this cabinet reshuffle, 13 lawmakers received their first cabinet post, and two women were appointed. 

Hashimoto was also put in charge of cybersecurity, gender equality and female empowerment.

In a speech following her new role, Hashimoto spoke on the threats of cyberterrorism and reducing the budget for Tokyo 2020 at a news conference on Thursday.

“To imagine the unimaginable, and change the unpredictable into what we can predict and therefore do what we can to prevent it: that’s my approach to terrorism prevention,” she said. “This is an extremely big issue with huge implications. I believe proper communication and information sharing will lead to prevention and the government has the responsibility to construct a comprehensive response plan.”

The Asian Winter Games champion is now serving her fifth term as a representative of the Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Councilors. 

Hashimoto is not only focused on the 2020 Olympics but how the new infrastructure can be sustainable for future generations to come.

Questions have been asked about how she plans to re-develop the Tohoku region in Japan following an earthquake in 2011 and how she will make Tokyo accessible and deal with the risks of an extreme summer.

As a previous Olympic athlete Hashimoto recognises the needs for athletes to be in an environment where they can perform well and plans to communicate with them and staff to come to a solution.

Hashimoto's new position will inspire Japanese women and girls and show them that they can reach a leadership role within sports.

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