Tokyo, Feb 11 (IANS) Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori will resign over his controversial remarks about women, media reports said here on Thursday.
Nearly all major Japanese media outlets, including state broadcaster NHK and news agency Kyodo, have reported that the 83-year-old former prime minister will quit the position since protests over his comments have shown no sign of abating, writes Xinhua news agency.
Mori, who was appointed to head the Olympic organising committee in 2014, said on February 3 at a meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee, “Women have a strong sense of rivalry… if one female member raises her hand to speak, everyone will think they need to say something too.”
Mori made an apology at a news conference last Thursday but refused to resign.
The organisers said in a statement on Wednesday that Mori has expressed his “deepest apologies and remorse”.
It also announced that Tokyo 2020 will hold a meeting on Friday for its Council and Executive Board members, who will be “invited to express their opinions on President Mori’s remarks.”
Mori’s resignation might be the only option for the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to ease the mounting pressure following the comments.
About 400 volunteers have decided to give up their chance to serve the games this summer and two people announced their withdrawal from the torch relay, due to start on March 25, Japan’s biggest sports newspaper Sports Daily said earlier.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in its new statement on Tuesday that Mori’s remarks are “absolutely inappropriate and in contradiction to the IOC’s commitments and the reforms of its Olympic Agenda 2020”.