(Tokyo) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee Chairman Yoshiro Mori is set to step down following outcry in Japan and abroad over sexist comments made last week, reports reported Thursday Japanese media.
Several major Japanese media, citing anonymous sources, indicated that Mr. Mori, 83, had informed officials of his willingness to resign and to announce it at a meeting of the organizers of the Olympics on Friday.
The Tokyo-2020 boss, a former Japanese prime minister known for his verbal slippages, said last week that women have difficulty speaking in a concise manner, which is “annoying.” He awkwardly apologized the next day, while ruling out resigning.
An avalanche of criticism had followed in Japan and abroad. Even sponsors of the Olympics, usually discreet, had stepped up to the plate, also asserting that Mr. Mori’s remarks were contrary to the Olympic spirit.
At first, after Mr. Mori’s apology, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared that it considered the case closed, but then considered that his words were “completely inappropriate”, while the reactions were of more and more vivid.
This scandal is a new thorn in the side of the organizers of Tokyo-2020, who were already struggling to rekindle enthusiasm for the Games (23 July-8 August 2021), postponed last year because of the pandemic, while the global health context remains worrying.