Seiko Hashimoto (Japanese: 橋本 聖子 Hashimoto Seiko, born 5 October 1964) is a Japanese politician, former speed skater and track cycling sprinter. She has the most Olympic appearances of any Japanese athlete, representing her native country in four consecutive Winter Olympics from 1984 to 1994 and in three consecutive Summer Olympics from 1988 to 1996. She is currently a member of the House of Councillors from the Liberal Democratic Party, and serves as the President of the Japan Skating Federation.
|Member of the House of Councillors|
|Assumed office |
21 July 1995
|Born||5 October 1964|
Hayakita, Hokkaido, Japan
|Political party||Liberal Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Komazawa University Tomakomai Senior High School|
Early life and athletic career
Hashimoto was born in Hayakita, Hokkaido, in 1964. Her father gave her the name Seiko after the Olympic Flame (seika 聖火), inspired by the Tokyo Olympics that year. She graduated from a high school affiliated with Komazawa University in 1983 and joined the Fuji Kyuko railway company.
|Women's speed skating|
|1992 Albertville||1500 metres|
|Asian Winter Games|
|1986 Sapporo||500 m|
|1986 Sapporo||1500 m|
|1990 Sapporo||500 m|
|1990 Sapporo||1000 m|
|1990 Sapporo||1500 m|
|1990 Sapporo||3000 m|
|1994 Hiroshima||Individual pursuit|
|1995 Quezon City||Sprint|
She appeared in her first Olympics in 1984 in Sarajevo, competing in 500, 1000, 1500 and 3000 m speed skating events. In the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, she placed fifth in both the 500 and 1000 m speed skating events. She won the bronze medal in the 1500 m speed skating event in her third Winter Olympic appearance at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and also competed in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, placing sixth in the 3000 m speed skating event.
Her first Summer Olympics appearance as a cycling sprinter was at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where she placed fifth in the women's sprint. She placed eleventh in the 3000 m individual pursuit at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and ninth in the point race at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Hashimoto resigned from Fuji Kyuko in 1993 and was elected to the House of Councillors in 1995, winning re-election in three subsequent elections. She served as Vice-Minister for Hokkaido Development from 2000 to 2001, as chair of the Education Committee from 2001 to 2003, as deputy secretary-general of the LDP from 2003, and as state secretary (senior vice-minister) for foreign affairs under the Taro Aso administration (2008–2009).
Hashimoto gave birth to a daughter in 2000, followed by two sons. She initially entrusted employees of her political office with the care of her children while at work, but led an initiative to establish a child care facility at the Diet of Japan, which opened in 2010.
Following the resignation of Tokyo governor Naoki Inose on 19 December 2013, she was rumored to be a potential candidate for the gubernatorial election expected to be held in February 2014, along with Yuriko Koike, Hakubun Shimomura, Hideo Higashikokubaru and Yoichi Masuzoe. The LDP excluded her name from consideration in a December 20 telephone poll due to her responsibilities as head of the Japanese competitor delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In August 2014, Hashimoto became embroiled in accusations of sexual harassment of Japanese male figure skater Daisuke Takahashi. Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun published a story with several photographs showing Hashimoto and Takahashi dancing at a party following the closing of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The story alleged that Hashimoto had kissed Takahashi several times despite the latter's obvious attempts to resist. Hashimoto denied the allegations. Takahashi's management also said that the popular skater had not been harassed.
- "議員情報". House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "Seiko Hashimoto". Sports Reference. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- ""国会保育園"オープンへ 橋本聖子さんら「利用したい」". 日本経済新聞. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "猪瀬知事が辞職表明 「都政を停滞させられない」". 日本経済新聞. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "都知事選「勝てる候補」は？ 自民、７氏選び世論調査". 日本経済新聞. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "Politician, JOC official denies harassing 2010 medalist Takahashi". www.globalpost.com. Retrieved 25 September 2016.