A high-ranking member of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) has reportedly taken his own life six weeks out from the start of the Games.
The Tokyo Games are set to begin—a year late—on July 23, but the Japanese public has repeatedly voiced its strong opposition to the event taking place while the country is suffering from a surge in coronavirus cases, while a string of scandals has hit the organizers.
The official has been identified in Japanese media as 52-year-old Yasushi Moriya, who is reported to have been hit by a subway train early on Monday morning. Nippon TV, citing unnamed sources from Tokyo’s metropolitan police, said the man worked in JOC’s accounting department. Investigators are reportedly treating his death as a suicide.
Police confirmed to Reuters that they’re investigating a deadly incident on the Tokyo subway, but didn’t offer more details. A JOC representative said the committee is still trying to gather details about what happened.
The JOC has come under particularly sharp criticism in the run-up to the Games. The head of the organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, was forced to resign in February after complaining that women talk too much and that holding meetings with women in top posts would “take a lot of time.”
Later, in March, Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies, had to resign after suggesting that a popular female celebrity should be lowered into the Olympic stadium dressed as a pig in an opening ceremony segment that he dubbed “Olympig.”
In 2019, Tsunekazu Takeda resigned as JOC president following bribery allegations linked to the successful Olympic bid.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741