Tokyo, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- The president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee resigned Thursday following controversy sparked by sexist remarks her made last week, according to local media reports.
Yoshiro Mori has communicated his decision to resign from office to people close to the organization after continuing to face criticism for his remarks at a meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Feb. 3, sources close to the matter told public broadcaster NHK.
The departure of the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee could be made official on Friday, when a meeting of the organizing committee’s council and executive board is convened to discuss the controversy caused by his remarks and their possible consequences.
The 83-year-old, who was prime minister of Japan between 2000 and 2001, made comments about wishing to limit women’s speaking time during board meetings because of their tendency to talk too much, sparking criticism within Japan as well as abroad.
“If we are going to have more women directors, someone has remarked, then meetings go on for a long time unless we restrict the comments,” Mori said during an extraordinary meeting of the Olympic committee in which they discussed increasing the number of women members on the board from 20 percent to 40 percent.
“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,” Mori added.
Mori apologized for his remarks the day after the controversy broke out but that failed to stem the criticism against him.
In statement on Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) slammed the sexist remarks made by Mori as “absolutely inappropriate and in contradiction to the IOC’s commitments and the reforms of its Olympic Agenda 2020.”
The controversy has led hundreds of Olympic volunteers to resign and runners who were to participate in the torch relay of the Olympic flame in Japan, which is scheduled for the end of March, to withdraw from the event. EFE-EPA