Tsunekazu Takeda announced his resignation as President of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Tuesday at a board meeting.
The announcement came after allegations that bribery in Tokyo was chosen as the venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games 2020.
"I do not think I did anything illegal or wrong," Takeda said Tuesday. "It is unfortunate that a shadow was thrown on the tournament because of me, but I also think it is my duty to exercise the remainder of my term as President."
Takeda, 71, has since served ten terms as JOC President. He takes over the position in 2001. He also intends to resign as head of the marketing committee of the International Olympic Committee.
Several Board Members expressed concerns about the timing of the announcement and its potential impact at the meeting The opening ceremony will take less than 500 days and Japan will spend more than $ 20 billion on organizing the 2020 games.
"I would like to take a step back to make room for the younger generation to go the way," Takeda said Tuesday. "In June, I will resign as JOC president so that the tournament can take place in peace."
Takeda is being investigated by French authorities since it turned out that it had prematurely discontinued payments to a Singapore consulting firm IOC vote in September 201
In 2013, Black Tidings, a consulting firm led by Tan Tong Han, known to be close to Papa Massata, made a $ 2 million payment to Diack, a son of a once-powerful member of the IOC, Lamine Diack. The authorities suspected that the money was used to buy votes for Tokyo as the venue for the Olympics.
The ethics committee of the IOC, which has not yet commented on Tuesday's announcement, opened a file on Takeda after the bribery charges. Takeda confirmed at a press conference in January that he had been interrogated in December by French investigators in Paris.
On Tuesday he again denied any wrongdoing.
Yasuhiro Yamashita and Kozo Tashima, both currently serving as JOC board members, were hailed by the media as a potential replacement for Takeda. Yamashita chairs the JOC Sports Committee and won a gold medal in judo at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Tashima is president of the Japanese Football Association.