Reuters and other news organizations are reporting that Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee, will resign tomorrow over sexist remarks he made earlier this month.
The 83-year-old former prime minister called a news conference on Feb. 4 to apologize for “inappropriate” comments he’d made about women.
“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,” news organizations, including the BBC, reported Mori as saying during a meeting of the organizing committee earlier this month. “We have about seven women at the organising committee, but everyone understands their place.”
While Mori apologized, he refused to resign, which has led to a number of protests and criticism from major sponsors. Opposition members of parliament have also called for his resignation.
This is the latest challenge for the Games’ organizing committee. The cost of putting on the Games has ballooned with estimates putting the price for hosting the games upwards of $15.4 billion, up 22 per cent from last year’s budget. Polls have routinely found that 80 per cent of Japan’s population are against holding the Games during the pandemic.
Sources say that Saburo Kawabuchi will take over from Mori as president of the organizing committee.