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After causing online storm for his sexist remarks, Tokyo Olympics chief apologizes but says he won’t resign

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 05, 2021 12:38 am

Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori has apologized for the sexist remarks he made about women. However, he said he will not resign from his post.

In a Wednesday meeting with the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), Mori—a former Japanese prime minister—suggested that they “need to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” should they decide to add more female members to their group. 

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

According to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), the JOC “decided in 2019 to aim for more than 40 percent female members on the board, but there are just five women among the board’s 24 members.”

Such prompted quite a buzz on Twitter, which led to the trending hashtag #MoriResign.  

A Twitter user said "the Olympics should be about unity, and the chief should be a role model."

"Mori does not understand the three core values of Olympism - excellence, friendship & respect," another one tweeted.

For a netizen, people like Mori "prevent Japan from moving forward and destroying opportunities for many people."

Meanwhile, a social media user found the issue "hilarious."

Another netizen agreed with Mori's remarks, saying he was "just stating a fact."

BBC News reported that even Mori’s family members called him out for his comments. “Last night, my wife gave me a thorough scolding. She said: ‘You’ve said something bad again, haven’t you? I’m going to have to suffer again because you’ve antagonized women,’” he told Japan’s Mainichi newspaper, adding that her daughter and granddaughter scolded him, too. 

In a press briefing, Mori acknowledged that his comments were indeed inappropriate and against the Olympic spirit. When asked about his basis for such, he said, “I don’t talk to women that much lately so I don’t know.”

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

After his apology, the isue as considered closed by the International Olympic Committee, a Reuters article read.

Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, however, is looking to have “thorough discussions”  with Mori regarding the matter. “The Olympics’ fundamental principle is to promote women’s advancement in sport at all levels and organizations in order to realize gender equality,” she stressed.

Article thumbnails from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games' official website