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Tokyo 2020 Chief Visits LGBTQ Centre to Emphasize Diversity

Seiko Hashimoto (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Seiko Hashimoto (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Her visit to the Pride House Tokyo Legacy comes after a series of remarks made by committee officials that raised suspicion on their commitment to diversity and inclusion

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto visited Japan’s first permanent LGBTQ centre on Tuesday and emphasised Tokyo Olympic organisers’ commitment to facilitating the public’s understanding of issues surrounding sexual minorities.

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.

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“We need to take action now so that we can look back later and say the 2020 Tokyo Games were a turning point when it comes to diversity and understanding LGBTQ issues," Hashimoto said.
The delayed Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23 and go on till August 8, 2021. The delay comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown much concern and confusion regarding the restrictions on international spectators.

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.

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first published:April 29, 2021, 10:00 IST