Tokyo Olympics chief retracts sexist comments, refuses to resign

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori enters a venue for a information convention in Tokyo on February 4, 2021. (Photo by KIM KYUNG-HOON / POOL / AFP)

TOKYO— Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori on Thursday apologized for sexist feedback about ladies speaking an excessive amount of, however stated he wouldn’t resign, at the same time as his remarks sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media and risked tainting public opinion of the Games.

Mori, 83, apologized at a unexpectedly known as information convention, however when pressed on whether or not he actually thought ladies talked an excessive amount of, he stated : “I don’t listen to women that much lately so I don’t know”.

The hashtag “Mori, please resign” was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday morning and a few customers on the platform had been calling on sponsors to stress the Tokyo organizing committee into dropping Mori from the highest publish.

Mori, whose time period as prime minister was marked by a string of gaffes and blunders, made the sexist comments at a Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) board of trustees assembly this week.

“If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” stated Mori, in accordance to native media.

“We have about seven women at the organizing committee but everyone understands their place.”

The JOC determined in 2019 to purpose for greater than 40 % feminine members on the board, however there are simply 5 ladies among the many board’s 24 members.

Mori acknowledged that his feedback had been “inappropriate” and in opposition to the Olympic spirit.

“I feel deep remorse and I would like to retract my remarks,” he informed reporters.

Asked about Mori’s remarks in parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated his feedback mustn’t have been made.

Japan persistently trails its friends on selling gender equality, rating 121 out of 153 nations surveyed within the 2020 world gender hole report of the World Economic Forum.


Mori is changing into Tokyo’s newest legal responsibility in internet hosting the Olympics, critics say, complicating an occasion that has already been delayed as soon as due to the worldwide pandemic.

Yoko Shida, a professor of constitutional legislation at Musashino Art University, stated Mori’s feedback ran counter to the ethos of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was unlikely to assuage public issues in regards to the Games.

“This would normally warrant a resignation,” Shida stated.

Nearly 80 percent of the Japanese public are opposed to holding the Summer Games as scheduled this yr due to issues in regards to the coronavirus, current polls present.

Former judo champion Kaori Yamaguchi, who attended the JOC assembly with Mori, stated the Olympic chief’s feedback might additional erode belief within the Tokyo Games.

“Given his position, it was quite unfortunate – and the fact that it was sent out to the world, it wasn’t just an individual point of view but suggested to the world that Japanese may still think this way,” she stated forward of Mori’s briefing on Thursday.

In an obvious protest of Mori’s feedback, Noriko Mizoguchi, a former judo silver medallist, tweeted the International Olympic Committee’s code of ethics and stated that any kind of harassment ought to be rejected.

Renho, a outstanding opposition lawmaker, known as Mori’s remarks “shameful.”

“His comments run counter to the spirit of Olympics that denounces discrimination and calls for friendship, solidarity and fairness,” she stated in a tweet.

Nearing the top of the briefing, Mori reduce off questions as reporters grilled him repeatedly over his feedback.

Asked whether or not he nonetheless thought-about himself certified to run the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, Mori replied: “What do you think?”

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