Ex-PM Yoshiro Mori To Head Newly Launched 2020 Tokyo Olympics Committee
The Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched the organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Friday with former PM Yoshiro Mori "as its head to start preparation in full swing," according to Masaaki Kameda of the JAPAN TIMES. JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda said, "We start preparations for the success of the 2020 Games under the leadership of President Mori with ‘all-Japan’ efforts." The committee "is in charge of preparations and overall management of the Summer Games." Former Vice Finance Minister Toshiro Muto, who took the post of CEO of the organizing committee, said that the committee "needs to set up concrete and clear goals, including finding sponsors and ticket sales, to share with concerned parties for the success of the Olympics and Paralympics." The budget of the organizing committee is estimated at ¥301.3B ($2.9B) (JAPAN TIMES, 1/24). The AP reported Mori, 76, "initially rejected the request, citing his age, but agreed to accept the post after no other suitable candidates from the Japan business community came forward." Mori is president of the Japan Rugby Football Union and helped Tokyo be chosen for the 2020 Olympics. However, he "has a reputation for contentious comments, and his brief period as prime minister was marked for its gaffes." Tokyo's Sophia University political science professor Koichi Nakano said, "He is known for his careless remarks. Having him as chairman means there is a high risk of inappropriate comment" (AP, 1/24).