Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said that Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic preparations will continue despite Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose’s resignation which comes in the light of revelations that he received 50 million yen loan from the controversial Tokushukai hospital group. Inose played a huge role in winning Tokyo’s second time to host the world’s biggest sporting event.
Elected as governor a little over a year ago, Inose submitted his resignation on Thursday to Toshiaki Yoshino, president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly after pressure for his resignation mounted as details of the loan he received from the hospital group facing vote-buying charges came into question. Vice President Masahiko Komura of the Liberal Democratic Party, of which Inose is a member, said that receiving a huge amount of money regardless if it’s a donation or loan for someone in his position is suspicious and “enough to warrant his resignation.”
Inose was significant in the country’s winning bid to hold the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and bring the Paralympic Games to Japan. But he was criticized in April for his rather insensitive remark about Istanbul, another contender for the 2020 Olympics, suggesting that it was less developed and lesser qualified to host a big-scale event as the Olympics. Despite that gaffe, which is technically and ethically against the rules of the International Olympic Committee, the rights to host the Olympics was awarded to Tokyo.
Takeda assured the public that “Tokyo 2020’s immediate focus remains firmly on finalizing the establishment of the organizing committee to ensure the successful delivery of the games ” and said Inose was a “fervent and enthusiastic supporter” of the city’s bid for the Olympics. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he doesn’t see Inose’s resignation as having any impact on the preparations, although he earlier wished for a quick resolution to the issue so as not to affect the early steps of setting up the committees for the Olympics. “Everyone shares the intention to host the best Olympic Games. That remains unchanged,” said Abe.