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A Japanese mayor who drew criticism for biting an Olympic champion’s gold medal has offered to take a three-month pay cut as punishment.
Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura chomped on the gold medal of Miu Goto, a pitcher for Japan’s softball team, during a victory event earlier this month.
According to Kyodo News, Kawamura was also accused of sexually harassing Goto, making remarks at the time such as: “Are you prohibited from having romantic relationships?”
The Nagoya government has received more than 7000 complaints about Kawamura’s behaviour, while Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer which owns the softball team Goto plays for, also called his acts “inappropriate” and “extremely regrettable.”
Japan’s Miu Goto will have her #Tokyo2020 gold medal replaced with a fresh one following an outcry on social media after the mayor of her hometown put it between his teeth https://t.co/qPwXa6bvf8 pic.twitter.com/Jq2PJGiZ7U
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 13, 2021
Speaking at a press conference, Kawamura has now said he is ready to forfeit three months’ pay totaling 1.5 million yen ($13,000) as a penance for his indiscretions.
“I feel morally responsible,” he said, per Kyodo News. “I disgraced the occasion and offended Goto and the Japanese people.”
The 72-year-old, however, ruled out resigning, saying he “wants to continue serving the citizens of Nagoya.”
Goto is set to be given a free replacement medal from the International Olympic Committee.
“With support from the International Olympic Committee and in line with her own intention, Ms. Goto’s medal is now set to be exchanged for a new one,” the organizers of the Tokyo Games said.