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委員会は橋本聖子さんに会長を頼むことを決めて ...
The committee decided to ask Hashimoto to become president

I found this phrase a bit confusing. Both verbs in this sentence can take both に and を at the same time. I think に must go with 頼む in this case since XにYを決める means "decide on Y as X" and "decided on asking the president as Hashimoto" makes no sense.

That leaves me with how to understand 橋本聖子さんに会長を頼む. So XにYを頼む means "ask/request Y of X" and I get "request president of Hashimoto". That makes no sense. I think I'd have been happy with 橋本聖子さんに会長になることを頼む. Is this grammatical/natural? Is 橋本聖子さんに会長を頼む just a shorter way of saying this? Have I completely misparsed everything?

So assuming I have understood this correctly what kind of objects can 頼む take?

An after thought:

If I translate 会長 as "presidency" rather than "president" then all my problems go away. I wonder if this is the way to think about it.

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  • I believe 「君に彼を頼んだぞ」means something along the lines of "I'll leave him in your hands". But there isn't much context for your sentence, Does this make sense in the context of the story?
    – Shurim
    Feb 20 at 6:06
  • @Shurim surprised the context matters here but here it is. I see that one translation of 頼む is "entrust to", which matches your example. That could work. I still need 会長 to be 'presidency' rather than 'president' though. Feb 20 at 10:16
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I think I'd have been happy with 橋本聖子さんに会長になることを頼む. Is this grammatical/natural?

It's good but "橋本聖子さんに会長になるように頼む" is more natural.

Is 橋本聖子さんに会長を頼む just a shorter way of saying this?

Yes. 頼む can simply take a noun, e.g. 寿司を頼む (order sushi / ask them to make sushi) and あとを頼む (leave them to do the rest). Usually we don't distinguish 'presidency' and 'president', so I assume 会長 can be translated into both of them and vice versa.

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