Yoshiro Mori is set to step down as the president of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee after making sexist comments.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency said the 83-year-old will resign on Friday when the committee’s executive board meets.
Mr Mori, in a meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee more than a week ago, essentially said that women “talk too much” and are driven by a “strong sense of rivalry”.
The former prime minister gave a grudging apology a few days later after his opinions were reported but declined to resign.
This is more than just another problem for the postponed Olympics, which have made the risky choice of trying to open on July 23 in the middle of a pandemic with 11,000 athletes – and later, 4,400 Paralympic athletes.
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) March 30, 2020
More than 80% of the Japanese public in recent polls say the Olympics should be postponed or cancelled.
Mr Mori’s remarks have drawn outrage from many quarters and have put the spotlight on how far Japan lags behind other prosperous countries in advancing women in politics or the boardrooms.
Japan stands 121st out of 153 in the World Economic Forum’s gender equality rankings.
Though some on the street have called for him to resign – several hundred Olympic volunteers say they are withdrawing —-most decision makers have stopped short of this and have simply condemned his remarks.
Japan is a country that works largely on consensus with politicians – often elderly and male – acting behind the scenes and leaking trial balloons to sense public sentiment.