Tokyo Olympics chief apologizes for saying women talking too much
President of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee Yoshiro Mori apologized for comments he made suggesting women talk too much in meetings.
Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister of Japan, made the remarks during an executive meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee that was held online Wednesday. When giving his "private opinion" about the committee's goal of increasing the number of female board directors from 20% to more than 40%, Mori expressed concern about how that would affect the length of meetings, according to a report by The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan's largest daily newspapers.
"A meeting of an executive board that includes many women would take time," Mori was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "Women are competitive. When someone raises his or her hand and speaks, they probably think they should speak too. That is why they all end up making comments."
He also referred to the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, saying it "includes about seven women, but they all know how to behave," the newspaper reported.
Mori's remarks provoked laughter from some of the committee members, according to the newspaper. But on social media, as reports of his comments surfaced, people quickly began calling for Mori to resign.
Speaking at a hastily-prepared press conference on Thursday, Mori confirmed he made the comments and offered an apology.
"It was an inappropriate remark that went against the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics. I deeply regret it and would like to sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have offended," ABC News cited him as saying.
When asked about the calls for his resignation, Mori told reporters: "I'm not considering resigning."