Japan's Olympic chief Takeda to resign on charge of corruption
19 Mar 2019, 13:40 ( 1 Month ago)
The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Tsunekazu Takeda on Tuesday said he would resign from both that post and as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) amid a vote-buying scandal.
Takeda, a member of the IOC since 2012 and president of the JOC since 2001, has been under investigation for allegations of corruption connected to Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The embattled chief said he will step down from his position as JOC president when his current term ends in June.
During telephone talks earlier in the day, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was quoted by local media as saying that Takeda had confirmed his resignation from both posts, yet despite his decision to leave, he "wants to prove his innocence."
According to investigative sources, a portion of a roughly 2 million U.S. dollars was paid in 2013 by the Tokyo Games' bid committee headed by Takeda to a Singaporean consultancy firm, which then went to the son of a highly-ranked IOC member from Senegal.
Calls for Takeda's resignation have become more vociferous after French legal entities announced they had been considering indicting Takeda since December last year, after he was placed under formal investigation for "active corruption."
Since being placed under investigation, Takeda has not been attending IOC meetings.
He has denied allegations that he had illegally paid for votes that led to Tokyo securing the Games in 2013, ahead of rival bids from Madrid and Istanbul.
JOC senior executive board members Kozo Tashima and former Olympic judo gold medalist Yasuhiro Yamashita have both had their names put forward as potential successors to Takeda.