The president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organising committee is reportedly set to step down after making sexist remarks.
Yoshiro Mori will resign on Friday when the committee’s executive board meets, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.
The 83-year-old said women talk too much and are driven by a “strong sense of rivalry” during an online meeting of the committee’s board of trustees earlier this month.
“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,” Mr Mori was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
- IOC: Yoshiro Mori comments ‘absolutely inappropriate’
Mori later retracted his words, acknowledging it was inappropriate – but when pressed on whether he really thought women talked too much, he replied: “I don’t listen to women that much lately, so I don’t know.”
The former Japanese prime minister refused to resign at the time.
But his comments had drawn sharp criticism in parliament, where some opposition politicians demanded he quit.
One of Japan’s most prominent sports stars, tennis player Naomi Osaka, criticised the remarks as “ignorant”.
“I feel like that was a really ignorant statement to make,” the 23-year-old told France 24.
“I think that someone that makes comments like that, they need to have more knowledge on the thing that they’re talking about.”
Kyodo reports that Saburo Kawabuchi, a former chair of the Japanese Football Association and one of the key figures in the foundation of its professional football competition the J.League, is poised to replace Mori.
It is the latest setback for this year’s Games, set to go ahead on 23 July despite large swathes of the public saying they believe the multi-sports event should be postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Games were due to take place last summer but were delayed by 12 months.
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