The head of the Tokyo Olympics is resigning after receiving backlash for making sexist comments.
More than a week on from the controversy, reports say that Yoshiro Mori is stepping down from the role and will formally make the announcement tomorrow, February 12.
His resignation comes after allegedly saying that women ‘talk too much’ and that if more female members were to join the Olympic organising committee, they would have to have time constraints so they didn’t ramble on.
As per TIME, Mori supposedly said, ‘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.’
The 83-year-old apologised for the remarks the following day and stated at the time that he would not consider resigning. When pressed on the matter, he said, ‘I don’t listen to women that much lately, so I don’t know,’ Sky News reports.
Several women later called out the former Japanese prime minister for his comments.
According to Kazuko Fukuda who started a petition calling for Mori’s resignation, it’s not uncommon for politicians to be asked to step down, but they rarely do. She said, ‘There have been a lot of these kinds of comments from politicians and people so many times before, but they never resign.’
Backing up Fukuda’s claims, Kaori Hayashi, a professor of sociology and media studies at the University of Tokyo, said, as per The New York Times:
The people around Mori and he himself think that they can be like this because it’s always been like that and if the storm calms down, then they can go back to business as usual. That’s been the culture.
Grace En-Yi Ting, an assistant professor at University of Hong Kong who specializes in queer and feminist studies in Japan, added, ‘If Mori had not been so highly visible representing Japan on an international stage, it’s likely that there would have been a lot more complacency regarding his remarks.’
According to Sky News, Mori will be be replaced by former Japan Football Association president and mayor of the Olympics village, Saburo Kawabuchi.
The Tokyo Olympics were set to take place last year, but were postponed as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
The country hopes to host the iconic games this year starting July 23 and will continue through to August 8.
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The New York Times
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