JOC president likely to have to retire

NHK has learned that the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee will likely have to retire without serving another term as French authorities are investigating him in connection with allegations of corruption.

The JOC is set to choose its new president in biennial internal voting in June.

The current president, Tsunekazu Takeda, was initially considered likely to be re-elected. But JOC senior officials and others close to the matter now say his chances of another term are slim. Some say Takeda should decide by himself whether to step down.

Takeda is suspected of involvement in alleged bribery over Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

French prosecutors said earlier this year that an investigating judge is looking into whether to bring Takeda to trial.

Takeda has consistently insisted on his innocence. But he shirked accountability during a news conference in January by not accepting questions from reporters. He has since cancelled his overseas business trips and been absent from international meetings.

NHK has also learned that the International Olympic Committee has deep concerns about the possible impact on the Tokyo Games an official indictment of Takeda would have.

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