Seiko Hashimoto

Seiko Hashimoto (Japanese: 橋本 聖子, Hepburn: Hashimoto Seiko, born 5 October 1964)[1] is a Japanese politician, former speed skater and track cyclist. She has the most Olympic appearances of any Japanese athlete except Noriaki Kasai, representing her native country in four consecutive Winter Olympics from 1984 to 1994 and in three consecutive Summer Olympics from 1988 to 1996.[2] She is currently a member of the House of Councillors from the Liberal Democratic Party, and serves as the President of the Japan Skating Federation.

Seiko Hashimoto
橋本 聖子
Hashimoto Seiko (2019).jpg
Member of the House of Councillors
Assumed office
21 July 1995
President of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
In office
18 February 2021 – 8 August 2021
LeaderThomas Bach
Preceded byYoshirō Mori
Succeeded byTony Estanguet
Chair of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
In office
18 February 2021 – 5 September 2021
Preceded byYoshirō Mori
Succeeded byPosition dissolved
Minister of State for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
In office
11 September 2019 – 18 February 2021
Prime MinisterShinzo Abe
Yoshihide Suga
Preceded byShun'ichi Suzuki
Succeeded byTamayo Marukawa
Personal details
Born (1964-10-05) 5 October 1964 (age 57)
Hayakita, Hokkaido, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materKomazawa University Tomakomai Senior High School

She served on the Japanese Cabinet as Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from September 2019 until February 2021, when she became the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. She is only the second female in Olympic history to become president of a game's organising committee after Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 organising committee.

Early life and athletic careerEdit

Hashimoto was born in Hayakita, Hokkaido, in 1964. Her father gave her the name Seiko after the Olympic Flame (聖火, seika), inspired by the Tokyo Olympics that year. She graduated from a high school affiliated with Komazawa University in 1983 and joined the Fuji Kyuko railway company.[1]

Medal record
Representing   Japan
Women's speed skating
Olympic Games
  1992 Albertville 1500 m
World Sprint Championships
  1989 Heerenveen Sprint
World Allround Championships
  1990 Calgary Allround
  1992 Heerenveen Allround
Asian Winter Games
  1986 Sapporo 500 m
  1986 Sapporo 1500 m
  1990 Sapporo 500 m
  1990 Sapporo 1000 m
  1990 Sapporo 1500 m
  1990 Sapporo 3000 m
Women's track cycling
Asian Games
  1994 Hiroshima Individual pursuit
Asian Championships
  1995 Quezon City Sprint

She appeared in her first Olympics in 1984 in Sarajevo, competing in 500, 1000, 1500 and 3000 m speed skating events. In the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, she placed fifth in both the 500 and 1000 m speed skating events. She won the bronze medal in the 1500 m speed skating event in her third Winter Olympic appearance at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and also competed in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, placing sixth in the 3000 m speed skating event.[2]

Her first Summer Olympics appearance as a cycling sprinter was at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where she placed fifth in the women's sprint. She placed eleventh in the 3000 m individual pursuit at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and ninth in the point race at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[2]

Political careerEdit

Hashimoto resigned from Fuji Kyuko in 1993 and was elected to the House of Councillors in 1995, winning re-election in three subsequent elections. She served as Vice-Minister for Hokkaido Development from 2000 to 2001, as chair of the Education Committee from 2001 to 2003, as deputy secretary-general of the LDP from 2003, and as state secretary (senior vice-minister) for foreign affairs under the Taro Aso administration (2008–2009).[1]

Hashimoto gave birth to a daughter in 2000, followed by two sons. She initially entrusted employees of her political office with the care of her children while at work, but led an initiative to establish a child care facility at the Diet of Japan, which opened in 2010.[3]

Following the resignation of Tokyo governor Naoki Inose on 19 December 2013, she was rumored to be a potential candidate for the gubernatorial election expected to be held in February 2014, along with Yuriko Koike, Hakubun Shimomura, Hideo Higashikokubaru and Yoichi Masuzoe.[4] The LDP excluded her name from consideration in a December 20 telephone poll due to her responsibilities as head of the Japanese competitor delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics.[5]

In August 2014, Hashimoto became embroiled in accusations of sexual harassment[6] of Japanese male figure skater Daisuke Takahashi. Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun published a story with several photographs showing Hashimoto and Takahashi dancing at a party following the closing of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The story alleged that Hashimoto had kissed Takahashi several times despite the latter's obvious attempts to resist. Hashimoto denied the allegations. Takahashi's management also said that the popular skater had not been harassed.[7]

In September 2019, Hashimoto became the Minister of State for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. On 18 February 2021, she stepped down from that role in order to take over as President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. Hashimoto replaced former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori, who had earlier offered his resignation following comments he made at a committee meeting that were regarded as sexist.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "議員情報". House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Seiko Hashimoto". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  3. ^ ""国会保育園"オープンへ 橋本聖子さんら「利用したい」". 日本経済新聞. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  4. ^ "猪瀬知事が辞職表明 「都政を停滞させられない」". 日本経済新聞. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 自民党の石破茂幹事長は19日午前、東京都連幹部と協議し、年内の候補者決定を目指す方針を確認した。党内では小池百合子元防衛相や下村博文文部科学相、橋本聖子参院議員らの名前が取り沙汰されている。7月の参院選への出馬を見送った元新党改革代表の舛添要一氏、日本維新の会を離党して衆院議員を辞職した東国原英夫氏らの名前も浮上している。
  5. ^ "都知事選「勝てる候補」は? 自民、7氏選び世論調査". 日本経済新聞. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Politician, JOC official denies harassing 2010 medalist Takahashi". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  7. ^ Tokyo 2020: Japan to appoint female Olympic head after sexism row The Guardian, 2021.
  8. ^ "Female ex-Olympic athlete Hashimoto takes over as Tokyo Games chief". Kyodo News. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by President of Organizing Committee for Summer Olympic Games
Succeeded by