Haruki Uemura, head of the All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF), announces his resignation after the government issued a rare warning for the federation to fully revamp its troubled management, at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
(AFP) Judo / JPN / lead AFP Tuesday 30 July 2013
Last Update 30 July 2013 4:59 pm TOKYO:
The head of Japan's judo authority announced his resignation on Tuesday after the sport suffered a series of scandals including abusive coaching, sexual harassment and misuse of funds. Haruki Uemura, head of the All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF), told a news conference that he would officially step down next month along with two other board members. The announcement came after the government last week took the rare step of calling on the federation to overhaul its management to atone for the scandals. "We took the recommendation gravely," Uemura said. "The vice-chairman, secretary-general and I intend to resign. You can take the resignations as being a result of the scandals." Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo news agency reported that four board members, including Uemura, would resign. The federation could not immediately be contacted to address the discrepancy. Japan's judo community was rocked in January this year when it emerged the coach of the national women's team was found to have used a bamboo sword to beat athletes, calling his charges "ugly" and telling them to "die" in the run-up to the London Olympics. The coach later resigned. In April, judo officials were accused of improperly receiving government coaching subsidies. The following month, the federation said it was considering expelling one of its directors for life following the revelation that he made unwanted sexual advances toward a female athlete in 2011. In the wake of the scandals, the Japanese government and International Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer separately called on the country's top judo body to clean up the sport. Last month, Vizer said the world judo body has given the Japanese federation until October 15 to submit a full report on the incidents.