Gov't panel calls for judo chief Uemura to step down

A government panel on Tuesday urged embattled All Judo Federation Chairman Haruki Uemura to step down to take responsibility for scandal involving the federation's misappropriation of funds.

The Public Interest Corporation Commission has told Uemura to take appropriate measures to reorganize management at the IJJF by the end of August, effectively demanding his resignation.

Shuichi Takano, head of the secretariat of the commission, said, "This is a very serious situation. We want reforms (at the IJJF) made as soon as possible. We want the federation to show that it is capable of making decisions."

The commission deals with matters related to "the Act on Authorization of Public Interest Incorporated Association and Public Interest Incorporated Foundation."

Uemura last month insisted on remaining at his post until he completes his mission to reform the scandal-tainted body, saying he plans to step down in October.

The final report by the third party investigating misappropriation of funds last month said that 27 coaches received illegal payments to the tune of 36.2 million yen.

The trainers received subsidies provided by the Japan Sports Council from fiscal 2007 onward during periods where they did not actually train any athletes.

Uemura was already barely clinging to his position after a physical abuse scandal that rocked the federation in January and led to the resignation of the manager of the national women's team and another coach.