The boss of the Tokyo 2020 Games has sparked outrage after his comments regarding women during an offical Olympics meetings.
Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister, was speaking to the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) when he reportedly made the comments: “board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time”, according to the Asahi Shimbun Daily.
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“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.
The comments come as Japan struggles to match the world leaders in promoting gender equality.
While leading in many international indicators, Japan ranks 121 out of 153 in nations surveyed for the 2020 global gender gap report of the World Economic Forum.
His comments are also exacerbated considering the JOC decided last year to aim for females to make up more than 40 per cent of the board.
But as of November, there were only five women of 24 members on the board.
“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.
The comments sparked outrage on social media with many aware of the gender gap struggles in Japan.
Yoshiro Mori, an 83-yr-old man heads @Tokyo2020.
His horde of advisors shld have told him to SHUT UP!!!
“Board meetings with many women are time-consuming” because they are “competitive,... try to follow suit when other women make comments."#Tokyo2020 #Japan
— Karolos Grohmann (@karolosgrohmann) February 3, 2021
This is not acceptable. The head of Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, Yoshiro Mori said he doesn’t want to invite women to a meeting cause they talk too much and too competitive. @iocmedia @Olympics https://t.co/DLrs8cMFEy
— akemi nakamura (@aaakkmm) February 3, 2021
Pushing forward with #Tokyo2020 during #COVID19 where vaccinations have yet to start in Japan, Yoshiro Mori isn’t keen to increase % women on the board - because they talk to much. Sounds like they need a few more women to talk some sense! https://t.co/Tpd3YRfgAM
— Ginger Tinted World (@GingerTintedWld) February 3, 2021
Former PM Yoshiro Mori quoted telling Olympic Committee members that board of directors meetings with many women “drag on” because we “have difficulty” speaking concisely
It’s not like we drag on like the Government in achieving the 30% female representation in leadership target https://t.co/d1hbHOcK3S
— Abi Koshimo Brown (@AKoshimoBrown) February 3, 2021
Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo 2020 president stated that "As many as women take part in a board, it makes a meeting run over".
Unacceptable and shame to have a person who makes politically incorrect terms and thoughts. https://t.co/5PlVFIctgw
— Sobacha (@Sobacha14) February 3, 2021
IOC president hits back at critics
IOC President Thomas Bach said the International Olympic Committee was fully committed to the successful organisation of the Tokyo Summer Olympics this year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though much of Japan is under a state of emergency because of a third wave of infections, Bach said all stakeholders were committed to pressing ahead as planned with the rescheduled Games, which are due to open on July 23 after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus.
Bach said any speculation about the Tokyo Olympics, including talk of postponement or cancellation, was not helpful.
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