Tokyo Olympics' Yoshiro Mori Reportedly to Resign After Making Sexist Comments

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, speaks at a news conference in Tokyo Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Kim Kyung-hoon/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Kyung-hoon/Associated Press

The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, reportedly will resign Friday after making sexist remarks earlier in February, per Stephen Wade of the Associated Press.

The 83-year-old Mori said in a Japanese Olympic Committee meeting that women "talk too much" and are motivated by a "strong sense of rivalry."

"You have to regulate speaking time to some extent," he added of having women on executive or organizing boards, per Motoko Rich, Hikari Hida and Makiko Inoue of the New York Times. "Or else we'll never be able to finish."

He later apologized, but to this point has shown no public indication of stepping down. 

"I am not thinking to resign," Mori said on Feb. 4, per Wade. "I have been working hard and helped devotedly for seven years. I will not be stepping down."

The IOC initially accepted Mori's apology before later saying in a statement that his comments were "absolutely inappropriate."

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Mori's comments have been met with serious backlash, with many people calling for him to step down from his post. 

"We must tell the world that Japan is a country committed to making a gender-equal society," said Mizuho Fukushima, head of Japan's Social Democratic Party, per Wade. "He [Mori] must step down."

"The [Mori] comment is different from our values, and we find it regrettable," Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda added.

Toyota is one of the International Olympic Committee's biggest sponsors, paying the organizing committee around $1 billion every four years, per Wade. 

Additionally, 390 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers resigned from their positions after Mori made his remarks, per Kyodo News. Per that report, "While volunteers gave a variety of reasons for withdrawing, the sudden drop-off is an indication of the headache Mori's remarks have caused for organizers."

According to Wade, the former president of the Japanese soccer association, 84-year-old Saburo Kawabuchi, has been lined up as Mori's replacement.