The course that will host the 2020 Olympic golf tournament has avoided being stripped of the event by deciding to change its membership policy to include women.
The Kasumigaseki Country Club yesterday said its executive board decided on the change after discussions among its members.
The membership policy came under scrutiny when Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike urged it to admit women as full members.
Other critics said the club’s policy was contrary to the spirit of the Olympics.
The vote came three days after IOC President Thomas Bach warned the club of consequences for upholding a ban on female members.
“Should gender equality not be respected, then we would look for another venue which would ensure non-discrimination,” Bach said last Friday at a news conference in South Korea.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee, welcomed the change.
“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and co-operation,” Mori said.
The club’s policy had excluded women from full-fledged membership but not from playing or other types of membership.