Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori initially rejected the offer to head the 2020 Summer Olympics organizing committee.
Marty Melville/AFP//Getty Images

TOKYO (AP) Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has accepted a request to become head of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic organizing committee.

Education and sports minister Hakubun Shimomura says Mori expressed informal consent in a meeting Sunday night, according to the Kyodo news agency.

The Japanese Olympic Committee is expected to establish the organizing committee on Jan. 24. The 76-year-old Mori initially rejected the request, citing his age.

Mori served as prime minister for one year from April 2000. His term in office was marked by several gaffes. Those included continuing a round of golf after receiving news that the submarine USS Greeneville had accidentally hit and sunk a Japanese fishing ship off the coast of Hawaii during an emergency surface drill in February 2001, resulting in the death of nine students and teachers.

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