Japan judo official, 76, owns up to sexual harassment claims

TOKYO (AP) - A director of Japan's judo federation offered to resign on Friday over claims he sexually harassed a female judoka.

Jiro Fukuda, 76, admitted to the athlete's claim that he forcibly hugged and tried to kiss her in the elevator of a Tokyo subway in 2011 but said that his memory of the incident is foggy because he was drunk at the time.

The offer to step down came after the federation said it would launch an investigation into the incident.

Former judoka Noriko Mizoguchi revealed the incident on Thursday at a symposium aimed at eradicating abuse in sports. Mr Mizoguchi said the athlete, who is in her 30s, took the matter to a federation executive but saw no positive steps taken to resolve the issue.

The incident is the latest crises for judo in Japan. In January, 15 female judokas accused former national coaches of harassment and physical violence during training before the London Olympics.

In February, two-time Olympic judo champion Masato Uchishiba was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a female member of a university judo club in 2011.

Judo, literally translated as "gentle way", was invented in Japan and was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo Games.