Tokyo Olympic organising committee president Yoshiro Mori on Thursday apologised for his remarks that have been widely criticised as sexist and outdated but insisted that he has no plan to step down.
The apology came a day after 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). “It was a careless remark and I want to express my apologies. I had no intention of discriminating against women,” Kyodo News quoted Mori as saying.
Mori added that he is aware of the public outcry and said he would step down if the controversy, or any other issue he is involved in, has a negative impact on the games.
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.
At a press conference later in the day he stressed he has “no intention to resign,” but admitted his comments ran counter to the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Kyodo News reported.
On Tuesday, Mori had said that the Olympic games will go ahead no matter how the coronavirus pandemic situation evolves.
“We will make sure the Games will be held no matter how the COVID-19 situation will be. We go beyond the discussion of whether we hold (the Games) or not hold. We are to come up with ‘new’ Olympics,” CNN had quoted Mori as saying in a news conference.
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.
Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach had put all speculations to rest, asserting that they are “fully concentrated on and committed” to stage the Tokyo Olympics.
“We are fully concentrated on and committed to the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting on 23 July with the Olympic Games and 24 August with the Paralympic Games,” IOC’s official website had quoted Bach as saying.