The president of the organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshiro Mori, publicly apologized on Thursday after his comments on the alleged verbiage of women that have generated widespread unrest. Asked about the possibility of leaving office at the head of Tokyo 2020 due to the controversy, Mori initially denied the possibility.
“I have no intention of resigning. I have been striving during these seven years” of preparation for the Games, although he pointed out that “if everyone tells me that I am bothering, then I should think about it. I recognize that the comments during the meeting of the Olympic Committee of Japan (COJ) were contrary to the Olympic spirit. I’m sorry, “Mori, 83, said at a hastily convened press conference the day after the incident.
Mori’s comments were made at an extraordinary COJ meeting in which they spoke about the objective that this body has set to increase the number of women members from the current 20% to 40% and in which he pointed out the convenience of limiting the time of their intervention due to their tendency to talk too much.
“I heard someone say that if we increase the number of women on the board we have to regulate speaking time somehow or else we will never end,” said Mori, 83, whose comments were met with laughter by members of the COJ, according to the account of what happened collected by the Japanese newspaper Asahi.
Hours after the statements came to light, labels such as “Retire, Yoshiro Mori” or “I despise women” were trending on the social network Twitter in Japan.
The head of the entity that prepares the next Games in the Japanese capital, whose celebration is once again hampered by the pandemic, reiterated his apologies to those who were offended by his words and to the people involved in the organization, who “They are doing their best in the half year that remains until the next competition.”