Japan Olympics minister resigns from cabinet as candidate for Tokyo 2020 chief


Web Desk
Japan Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto on Thursday resigned from the cabinet, a prerequisite for taking the job as head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.
She told reporters the prime minister had told her to make the Olympics successful.
Hashimoto says she understands there is “great public concern” over hosting the delayed Olympics during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking after her appointment five months before the Tokyo Games are due to open, the former Olympic track cyclist and speed skater said addressing the coronavirus threat was the most important task she faced, and she vowed to hold a “safe and secure” Games.
On Thursday, a Reuters poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Japanese firms opposed holding the Games as planned, in another sign that anti-Olympic sentiment is hardening in the host nation. It found that 36% of companies wanted a second postponement and 29% wanted cancellation. The remaining 35% wanted the Games to go ahead.
Japan only began its Covid-19 vaccine rollout this week, and large sections of the population will not have been inoculated by the time the Games open.