Her visit to Pride House Tokyo Legacy, Japan’s first permanent centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, follows a series of gaffes by organising committee officials that raised doubts about their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“As the organising committee is gearing up to welcome athletes from all over the world, we would like to deepen our understanding and firmly tackle the issue of unity in diversity,” Hashimoto told centre members.
The former Tokyo 2020 president, ex-prime minister Yoshiro Mori, stepped down in February after making sexist comments, while Tokyo Olympics creative head Hiroshi Sasaki resigned in March after making a derogatory comment about a popular Japanese female entertainer.
Despite spirits of the sporting community being dampened by the unprecedented turn of events, Tokyo 2020 will see many new sports being added to the mix, such as karate, skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing. Older events that haven’t shared the spotlight in a long time, such as basketball and softball, will also be making a return in part due to the new IOC policies.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin on July 23.