Tokyo Olympics chief to stay on, even as furore grows over sexist comments

TOKYO: The president of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee isn’t planning to resign even after he stirred controversy with sexist comments that girls board members talked an excessive amount of, native media reported on Thursday (Feb 4).

The 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister and head of the Tokyo committee organising the postponed Summer Games this yr, had informed a newspaper earlier that he might step down if requires his resignation proceed.

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 strain the Tokyo organising committee into dropping Mori from the highest submit.

Mori made the sexist comments at a Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) board of trustees assembly this week, in accordance to a report within the Asahi newspaper.

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“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,” mentioned Mori, in accordance to the Asahi report.

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

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

Former judo champion Kaori Yamaguchi, who was on the identical JOC name with Mori, mentioned she was initially perplexed by his comments as a result of they’d simply mentioned ladies board members and governance points on the decision.

“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 mentioned on Thursday.

Yamaguchi didn’t name for Mori’s resignation, however famous his comments might additional erode belief within the Tokyo Games.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato declined to remark instantly on Mori’s reported comments or whether or not the rising requires him to resign would have an effect on the Olympics.

Describing the nation’s gender-equality initiatives by ready notes, Kato mentioned solely that the federal government would proceed to push sports activities and different organisations to increase participation of ladies on their boards.

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

Mori plans to communicate to media at 2pm native time, an official from the organising committee mentioned. Local media mentioned Mori deliberate to apologise, however was not considering of resigning. The committee referred Reuters to Mori himself when reached for remark.

Mori informed the Mainichi paper earlier on Thursday he was “scolded” for his remarks by his spouse, his daughter and granddaughter.

READ: Games will go ahead regardless of pandemic situation: Tokyo Olympics president


Anger over Mori’s comments is probably going to additional alienate a Japanese public that has grown cautious of Tokyo’s makes an attempt to maintain the Games throughout a pandemic.

Nearly 80 per cent of the Japanese public opposes holding the Games as scheduled in July, in accordance to the latest ballot.

Mori, who is not any stranger to controversy and whose tenure as prime minister was marked by a string of gaffes and blunders, had simply come beneath fireplace earlier within the week for saying that Japan would maintain the Games no matter how the pandemic progresses.

Mori has a behavior of creating inappropriate comments, and can most likely proceed to accomplish that, mentioned Keiko Ishikawa, a PR guide.

“It’s a very difficult time (for the Olympics), and considering that his thoughtless comments lowers the morale of everyone involved, it’s better that he quit,” she mentioned.

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

Renho, a outstanding opposition lawmaker, referred to 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 mentioned in a tweet.

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