Chief of Tokyo Olympics ‘may have to resign’ over derogatory comments on women

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Chief Of Tokyo Olympics ‘May Have To Resign’ Over Derogatory Comments On Women Chief Of Tokyo Olympics ‘May Have To Resign’ Over Derogatory Comments On Women
President Yoshiro Mori speaks to the media after a video conference at the TOGOC headquarters in Tokyo, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Stephen Wade, Associated Press

The president of the organising committee of the Tokyo Olympics has apologised for making derogatory comments about women but acknowledged he “may have to resign”.

Yoshiro Mori, who is also a former prime minister of the country, was reported by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun to have said during an online meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee board of directors that women talk too much in meetings.

The remarks have created a storm in Japan where women are grossly under-represented in politics and in boardrooms.


In an interview with newspaper Mainichi published on Thursday, the 83-year-old apologised and suggested he could resign.

“I had no intention to disrespect women,” Mainichi reported him saying.

“I believe I must carry out my responsibility, but if calls for my resignation grow, I may have to resign.”

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He added: “It was careless of me, and I would like to apologise.”

Asahi reported him as saying during Tuesday’s meeting: “Women are very competitive. When one of them raises her hand, they probably think they have to say something, too. And then everyone says something.”


 

His comment came when he was asked about the presence of few women on the board of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

“If we are going to have more women directors, someone has remarked, then meetings go on for a long time unless we restrict the comments. I’m not saying who that is.”

The Tokyo Olympics he leads are already swamped with problems.

About 80% of Japanese in polls says the games should be postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

They are scheduled to open on July 23.

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