Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto poses with representatives, staff and guests during a visit to Pride House Tokyo Legacy, in Tokyo, Japan April 27, 2021. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto visited Japan’s first permanent LGBTQ centre on Tuesday and emphasised Tokyo Olympic organizers’ commitment to facilitating the public’s understanding of issues surrounding sexual minorities.

Her visit to Pride House Tokyo Legacy, Japan’s first permanent centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, follows a series of gaffes by organizing committee officials that raised doubts about their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“As the organizing committee is gearing up to welcome athletes from all over the world, we would like to deepen our understanding and firmly tackle the issue of unity in diversity,” Hashimoto told centre members.

The former Tokyo 2020 president, ex-prime minister Yoshiro Mori, stepped down in February after making sexist comments, while Tokyo Olympics creative head Hiroshi Sasaki resigned in March after making a derogatory comment about a popular Japanese female entertainer.

“We need to take action now so that we can look back later and say the 2020 Tokyo Games were a turning point when it comes to diversity and understanding LGBTQ issues,” Hashimoto said.

The delayed Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23.

—Reuters

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