The 83-year-old former head of government Mori had said at an online board meeting of the Olympic Committee of the Summer Games on the planned doubling of the quota of women in executive bodies of the sports associations to 40 percent, women talked a lot, which is why board meetings take time. Mori had apologized for the statement, but the storm of indignation persisted.
According to Japanese television network Nippon TV, Mori said on Thursday that he did not want the matter to drag on any longer. He wanted the games to be good, so preparations had to be pushed ahead. “We have no more time,” the broadcaster quoted Mori. Saburo Kawabuchi, founder of the Japanese football professional league J.League and former president of the Japanese Football Association, is reportedly under discussion to replace him.
Reuters / Kyodo
The Olympic Games are to take place in Tokyo – so the CoV situation is under control
Wave of protest according to statements
Mori had been quoted as saying that women have a strong sense of rivalry. “If either of them raise their hand, they’ll probably think they have to say something too. And then everyone says something. ”
The re was a storm of criticism. Around 390 Olympic volunteers declared that they did not want to take up their honorary posts in protest. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike announced, according to the media, not to attend a meeting with Mori, Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach in preparation for the Games, which was scheduled for the middle of this month.
The Japanese Olympic Committee judged Mori’s statements to be inappropriate and underlined his commitment to gender equality.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also said the statements by the Japanese official were “absolutely inappropriate and contrary to the IOC’s obligations and the reforms of its 2020 Olympic Agenda”.
Eminence Gray in ruling party
Mori took back his words. However, at first there were no open calls for resignation from those responsible. Mori is considered the gray eminence of the most powerful group in the ruling LDP party and, as a long-time rugby association leader, is networked in politics and sport like no other.
The incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and other high-ranking LDP politicians only reprimanded Mori, nobody wanted to speak of resignation until Mori himself drew the consequences on Friday.
The scandal and the attempt to negate the scandal, however, show another big problem for Japan’s Olympic champions, which despite the ongoing CoV pandemic, the summer games in Tokyo with 11,000 athletes on July 23, postponed by a year because of the virus, with 11,000 athletes and afterwards want to open the Paralympics with 4,400 athletes. Less than six months before the Games, they are pushing the preparations for the Games. Japan wants to draw the attention of the world public again with the spectacle.
The scandal comes at an inopportune time for the Olympics. Almost half a year before it is scheduled to start, the CoV state of emergency continues to apply in several regions of the country, including the Tokyo area, and 80 percent of the population reject the hosting of the Games this year.