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Olympic Shuffle Highlights Japan’s Missed Target for New Leaders

  • Minister becomes Tokyo 2020 chief, while predecessor returns
  • Lack of female executives in pipeline left few options
Seiko Hashimoto, on Feb. 18.
Seiko Hashimoto, on Feb. 18.Photographer: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images/Bloomberg

The shuffling of senior Olympic leadership positions in Japan has put a spotlight on an uncomfortable truth in the country: After years of public statements in support of women in leadership, there still don’t seem to be enough to go around.

In its search for a replacement for Yoshiro Mori, 83, who resigned last week after disparaging women for talking too much, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee landed on former athlete Seiko Hashimoto. But she already had a job in the cabinet, as Minister for the Olympics and held the gender equality portfolio.