Tokyo Olympics boss resigns over sexist comments

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

The Tokyo Olympics has now been thrown into even more of a quandary after its boss resigned without a clear successor. Olympic chief Yoshiro Mori bowed to mounting pressure and resigned Friday over sexist remarks.

The games are less than six months away, and Mori’s controversial comments proved an additional headache for organisers who were already struggling to win over a sceptical public.

“My inappropriate statement has caused a lot of chaos. I would like to express my sincere apologies,” he told Tokyo 2020’s executive board and council.

“What is important is to hold the Olympics. It must not be the case that my presence becomes an obstacle to that.”

Several hundred Olympic volunteers have withdrawn in the wake of his comments and a petition calling for action against him gathered nearly 150,000 signatures.

After a two-hour meeting, Tokyo 2020 organisers said they will form a committee with a 50-50 gender mix to select Mori’s replacement.

It will be headed by Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai, 85, an appointment that may not appease critics who say key positions consistently go to an entrenched old boy network.