Tokyo Games head says women talk too much; apologises

With the Tokyo Olympic Games already under scrutiny as Japan races against time and a coronavirus surge, organisers now have to fight another battle – sexism.

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori speaks to the media at the TOGOC headquarters in Tokyo. (Photo: Takashi Aoyama/AP)

President of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, has come under fire for sexist comments that women talk too much during meetings.

The remarks, which were leaked to Japanese media, include Mori expressing that women are “competitive” and “if one member raises their hand to speak, others might think they need to talk too.”

“I’d like to withdraw my comment and apologise to the people whom I made to feel unpleasant.”

– President of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee, Yoshiro Mori

He continued, “If you want to increase female membership, you would be in trouble unless you put time limits in place.” The remarks were made in relation to the committee’s goal to increase female directors from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, which Mori said could affect the length of meetings.

The former Prime Minister spoke at a news conference today, where he admitted to making the comments and apologised for them.

“I recognise my comment yesterday was an inappropriate expression and went against the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics. I profoundly regret it,” he said. “I’d like to withdraw my comment and apologise to the people whom I made to feel unpleasant.”

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23.