Yasuhiro Yamashita appointed president of JOC

Yasuhiro Yamashita has replaced Tsunekazu Takeda as president of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).

Yamashita was appointed on Thursday at a JOC executive board meeting.

Takeda had announced in March that he would retire after his tenth term as JOC president. This followed an investigation by French authorities for alleged bribery during Tokyo’s successful bid to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He resigned from the International Olympic Committee in March.

Yamashita told the Japan Times: “I understand the weight of the responsibility I’ve been given and I will do everything I can to carry on what President Takeda accomplished during his time in this position. The Olympics and Paralympics are the pinnacle of sports. With less than a year, I hope we can prepare as best we can for the 2020 games.”

Yamashita is an Olympic gold-medallist, having won the men’s judo open-weight category at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, as well as nine straight national championships during his athletic career. The 61-year-old from Kumamoto prefecture was the president of the Japan Judo Federation since 2017, and was chairman of the JOC executive board until this new appointment.