The 83-year-old Tokyo Olympics Chief Yoshiro Mori has been called out for his sexist remarks against women. According to the Japan Times, Mori opined that women take too long to speak so their speaking time should be limited. He was speaking to members of the Japanese Olympic Committee with reporters in the room when he made the gaffe.
“The education ministry has been very insistent about choosing female directors. But a board meeting with plenty of women will make it drag on,” Mori said. “Somebody told me that if we increase the number of women (on the board), we have to also restrict their speaking time to an extent. Otherwise, they’ll never stop, which is problematic.”
This remark came after someone asked about Japan’s Olympic committee’s goal of having more than 40 female members on the board. Mori’s response got a good chuckle from several members of the committee. So far there are only five women in the twenty-four member board.
He explained his sexist reasoning by saying “women have a strong sense of rivalry, If one (female) member raises her hand to speak, all the others feel the need to speak too. Everyone ends up saying something.”
Yoshiro Mori became the chief of the Tokyo Games in 2014. He has repeatedly put his feet in his mouth during that time.
After the current backlash with calls for him to resign, he apologized for his statement.
“It was an inappropriate remark,” he said. “I apologize.”
But he added that he would not be stepping down from his position.
UPDATE – 2/12/21 – According to Reuters, Yoshiro Mori resigned on Friday due to the backlash.
“My inappropriate comments caused big trouble,” he said. “I’m sorry.” Mori added the success of the Tokyo Olympics was the most important thing.