Tokyo Olympics 2020 chief sparks controversy with sexist remarks: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 03, 2021, 06:11 PM(IST)

President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Yoshiro Mori attends a news conference. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Tokyo Olympics 2020 boss Yoshiro Mori has sparked a sexism row after it was reported on Wednesday that he said "board of directors meetings with many women may take a lot of time" because they "have difficulty" in speaking concisely. 

Tokyo Olympics 2020 boss Yoshiro Mori has sparked a sexism row after it was reported on Wednesday that he said "board of directors meetings with many women may take a lot of time" because they "have difficulty" in speaking concisely. 

Mori is widely known for his public gaffes and the 83-year-old former prime minister told the members of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) that "meetings with women take a lot of time", according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.  

"When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn't restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying," he said, as some members of the council reportedly laughed.  

Japan heavily trails on promoting gender equality with the country ranking 121 out of 153 nations surveyed in the 2020 global gender gap report by the World Economic Forum. 

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Interestingly, the JOC in 2020 decided to aim for more than 40 per cent of female members at the board. However, as of November, there were just five women among the board's 24 members.  

"We have about seven women at the organising committee but everyone understands their place," Mori added at the Wednesday meeting, which was open to the media, the Asahi said. 

Tokyo 2020 didn't respond to a request for a comment on the controversial remarks by Mori, reported AFP. 

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"Women are competitive," Mori reportedly added. "When one person raises a hand, others think they need to speak up as well. That's why everyone speaks." 

Mori's controversial sexism remarks come with increased scrutiny on organisers with the authority insisting that the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics can go ahead despite surging virus cases in the country and in parts of the world. 

On Tuesday, Mori said the Games would go ahead "however the coronavirus (pandemic) evolves".  

In December, the Japanese government delayed an almost two-decades-old target to have at least 30 per cent of leadership positions occupied by women by the end of 2020. 

(With AFP inputs) 

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