Tokyo 2020 Games chief Yoshiro Mori has apologized and said he may have to resign after sparking a sexism row by claiming women speak too much in meetings, a Japanese daily said Thursday.
Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister known for public gaffes, told the Mainichi Shimbun he was sorry for his “thoughtless” remarks, which prompted calls for him to step down.
“It calls for my resignation grow louder, I might be compelled to resign,” Mori was quoted as telling the newspaper on Thursday.
“It was thoughtless. I’d like to apologize,” he added.
Mori is reported to have said Wednesday that “board of directors meetings with many 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 reportedly said.
The comments sparked a furious reaction in Japan, with the phrases “enough already,” “misogyny” and “we demand Yoshiro Mori resigns” all trending on Twitter.
Mori said he had been taken to task by the female members of his family as a result, with his wife giving him a “thorough scolding.”
“She said: ‘You’ve said something bad again, haven’t you? I’m going to have to suffer again because you’ve antagonized women.’ This morning, my daughter and granddaughter scolded me as well,” he said.—APP