Yoshiro Mori has announced his surprise resignation as honorary chairman of the Japan Rugby Football Union, officials said Thursday, just months before the country hosts the World Cup.
But the 81-year-old former prime minister will remain as president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
Mori, who played a key part in bringing Asia’s first Rugby World Cup to Japan, made the announcement after a JRFU board meeting on Wednesday, and said it was partially due to health concerns after suffering several bouts of surgery because of cancer.
“Mori expressed his intention to resign because of his age and condition as well as his job at the Olympics and Paralympics,” a JRFU spokesman told AFP, adding that his replacement has not been decided.
“But his resignation won’t affect our hosting of the World Cup,” which kicks off in September, the spokesman stressed.
“Mori has said he will continue supporting the World Cup but expressed hope that young people should take the initiative in pushing for the sport,” the spokesman said.”