Hashimoto has resigned from her role as Japan's Olympics Minister to head up the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee after the previous president stepped down after he made derogatory remarks about women.
Japan's seven-time Olympic athlete Seiko Hashimoto was officially appointed as new president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee on Thursday.
The 56-year-old woman had served as Japan's Olympic Minister.
"The Olympics' fundamental principle is to promote women's advancement in sport at all levels and organizations in order to realize gender equality," Hashimoto said.
Hashimoto competed as a speed skater and sprint cyclist at seven consecutive winter and summer Games. She won a bronze medal for skating in 1992.
She previously said that her father raised her to compete in the Olympics, "even before I knew what the Olympics was."
Born just five days before the opening ceremony of the last Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Hashimoto's parents named her after the Olympic flame's lighting, "seika" in Japanese.
Hashimoto herself has been at the center of rumors in the past.
In 2014, photos of Hashimoto hugging and kissing a male figure skater sparked controversy, as people accused her of abusing her role as the head of the Japanese delegation at the time.
The images were taken at a Winter Olympics party in Russia’s Sochi, where Hashimoto appeared to drunkenly embrace Daisuke Takahashi.
But Takahashi later said that he did not think he had been harassed by Hashimoto, while she apologized for the "misunderstanding."
Hashimoto is set to oversee the final preparations of the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July.
As Japan postponed the Games from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hashimoto is under pressure to hold the event safely.
She said that another postponement was "inconceivable", echoing the sentiments of the event’s organizers and the International Olympic Committee.
The 2020 Olympics have faced several setbacks. Scandals have surrounded officials involved in organizing the event since 2013.
Multiple governors were forced to resign over allegations of abuse of power or embezzlement.
In 2016, Tokyo's Olympic organizers had to create a new logo for the event, as they were accused of copying a theater logo in Belgium.
fb/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)