Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori resigns after sexist remark row

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organising committee head Yoshiro Mori announced his resignation on Friday over his remarks about women talking too much, which were branded “sexist” at home and abroad.

The 83-year-old former Prime Minister stepped down seven years after being appointed president of the organising body by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mori made the announcement at a special meeting of its executive members.

Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said at a press conference that she received a phone call from Mori on Thursday morning and was told of his planned resignation, Kyodo News reported.

“The government will make further efforts to restore trust and firmly disseminate the big concept of diversity and harmony, both domestically and internationally,” Hashimoto said.

On February 3, Mori complained about what he believes is women’s tendency to talk too much and to have “a strong sense of rivalry” when he was asked about increasing gender diversity among board members of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).

However, a day later he issued an apology but insisted that he has no plan to step down.

“It was a careless remark and I want to express my apologies. I had no intention of discriminating against women,” Kyodo News had quoted Mori as saying.
He made the comments in a JOC meeting held online and open to the media. The JOC board has 25 members, of whom five are women.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 while the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5.