May 11, 2018
TOKYO - The golf venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has granted women full membership for the first time since it changed its gender discriminatory regulations in March last year, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.
According to the source, the Kasumigaseki Country Club, a private golf course in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo upgraded the status of three women following criticism from the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.
U.S. President Donald Trump (R), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C, blue hat) and professional golfer Hideki Matsuyama at Kasumigaseki Country Club on Nov. 5, 2017.
[Photo courtesy of the Cabinet Public Relations Office]
The 15-men executive board of the club voted unanimously to scrap its male-only policy to avoid being stripped of hosting the Olympic golf events after coming under fire at home and abroad for not endorsing gender equality.
The regulations of the 90-year-old club, which has more than 200 associate female members, were changed to say that full membership will be granted to "a person who has reached a certain age" from the earlier version that said "a man who has reached a certain age."
Previously, female members were forbidden from playing on Sundays and receiving full membership.
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