Tokyo, Mar 19 : The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) on Tuesday said he would resign as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member when his term ends in June.
During telephone talks earlier in the day, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said that Tsunekazu Takeda had signaled his intention to resign from both his posts as Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) marketing chair. The 71-year-old has been under investigation for allegations of corruption connected to Tokyo's successful bid to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
He told Koike that despite his decision to leave, he "wants to prove his innocence.
Takeda, who has served as the JOC president since 2001, is suspected by French prosecutors of effectively paying for bids to help Tokyo secure the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games. According to investigative sources, a portion of a roughly 2 million US dollars paid by the Tokyo Games' bid committee in 2013 headed by Takeda to a Singaporean consultancy firm, went to the son of a Senegalese man who had a high standing on the International Olympic Committee.
Calls for Takeda's resignation have become more vociferous after French legal entities announced they have been considering indicting Takeda since last December, after he was placed under formal investigation for "active corruption." Takeda, since being placed under investigation, has not been attending IOC meetings.
He has denied allegations that he had illegally paid for votes that led to Tokyo securing the summer Games in 2013, ahead of rival bids from candidate cities of Madrid and Istanbul. JOC senior executive board members, Yasuhiro Yamashita, a former Olympic judo gold medalist and Kozo Tashima, a former Japanese football player, have both had their names put forward as potential successors to Takeda. (UNI-XINHUA)