Head of Japan judo to stay on despite scandals
TOKYO— The head of Japan’s judo federation has changed tack on quitting, vowing instead to oversee proper reforms in his sport after a series of scandals.
Haruki Uemura had indicated he would resign but confirmed after a meeting earlier this week with International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer that he would remain in his post.
Japanese judo was rocked by revelations in January that the head coach of the women’s team used violence against athletes at a training camp before the London Olympics.
An accusation of sexual harassment against one of the federation’s directors came to light in May.
Vizer, who has supported Uemura’s decision to remain in his position, has asked for a report on the abuse scandal by Oct. 15 so that those involved can be punished.
Uemura took charge of a reform implementation project in March but a report in April on the mismanagement of funds led to his saying he would step down. But Uemura said last week he needed to remain in his post to receive the final report on a third-party investigation into the improper use of funds.
Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition. It became an official Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Ryuji Sonoda, the former head coach of the women’s team, quit in February after it was revealed he slapped athletes and used abusive language during training sessions.