Statements insulting to women ousting the head of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics

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Tokyo 2020 organizing committee chairman Yoshiro Mori succumbed to mounting pressure and resigned on Friday over women’s offensive remarks, leaving a void in a sensitive position after opposition to his preferred successor. The controversy over Mori’s comments was an additional unwanted crisis for organizers as they struggle to win the confidence of a skeptical audience that the Games will be held six months before they open. After a two-hour meeting, the Tokyo 2020 organizers said they would form a 50/50 committee to choose Mori’s successor.

Morey, 83, said last week that women talk a lot at meetings (AFP)

The panel will be chaired by Canon’s chief executive, Fujio Mitarai, 85, an appointment that may not satisfy critics who argue that key posts constantly go to a network of seniors.
Mori, 83, said last week that women talk a lot during meetings, which angered officials, sports stars and Olympic sponsors.
On Friday, he announced that he would step down with immediate effect. “My indecent statements caused great chaos (…) I would like to express my sincere apologies,” he said at a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 Council and the Executive Council held to discuss his statements.
He added, “The most important thing is that the Olympic Games should be held in July. The issue should not be that my presence is the obstacle to doing so. ”
There are doubts about the identity of the person who will succeed Mori in his high position, noting that the latter had chosen a former sports and administrative figure known to succeed him, Sapporo Kwabuchi (84 years old).
And it seemed that the exchange of power has become settled, as Kwabuchi, the former footballer, gave several interviews to local media, during which he talked about the plans he wants to start implementing in his new job.
However, voices opposed to this choice quickly rose, denouncing Mori’s domination of what is happening and his holding of control despite his resignation.
However, local media reported early Friday that the Japanese government had put pressure on Tokyo 2020 to finalize the appointment issue, while sources close to Kwabuchi indicated that he had decided to refuse to assume this position.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Moto said that the new president should be selected “as soon as possible”, without setting a deadline.
He noted that Mori’s successor should have some experience with games, but that sex will not be a final word.
“I don’t think we need to discuss a person’s gender,” he said. We will choose the most qualified person, is not this what we should strive for? ”
Mutu pointed out that the organizers have also decided to form a team to promote gender equality, and will seek to increase female representation among its employees and senior executives, while refusing to set a timetable for this, saying that he hopes to see progress by the board meeting on 22 March next.
Mori’s resignation came a week after he raised the ire of many and pushed hundreds of volunteers to withdraw, after he said that women talk a lot in meetings “which is disturbing.”
He apologized for what happened to him at first, before later telling reporters, “I don’t talk much with women.”
Hundreds of Olympic volunteers withdrew following his comments, collecting a petition of nearly 150,000 signatures calling for action against him.
Mori said he did not “take women lightly” and supported seven women on the 35-member Tokyo 2020 board of directors.
“They hesitated to raise their hands to speak,” he added. I even called their names to encourage them. ”
As he stepped down, Mori was praised by officials, including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the International Olympic Committee.
In a statement, German International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that Morey helped make Tokyo “the best-prepared Olympic city ever.”
International Paralympic Committee Chairman Andrew Parsons thanked Morey, adding that he hoped that “the reaction to his comments will be harnessed so that the community focuses more on diversity and inclusion.”
The door to Mori’s succession appears wide now, with reports indicating that Olympic Minister Seko Hashimoto, a former Olympic athlete and one of only two women in Japan’s cabinet, is a leading candidate.
Organizers, Olympic officials and the Japanese government are seeking to build confidence that the Games can be held safely despite the high number of coronavirus infections around the world.
Popular support in Japan remains very low, with the latest polls showing that nearly 80 percent of Japanese support the cancellation or postponement of the prestigious sporting event scheduled for July 23.





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