The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games chief was drawn into a sexism row Wednesday after it was reported he said women made meetings drag on for too long because they “have difficulty” speaking concisely.
Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister known for public gaffes, allegedly told members of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) “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 said, as some members of the council reportedly laughed.
He then went on to compund his observation.
“Women are competitive,” Mori reportedly added. “When one person raises a hand, others think they need to speak up as well. That’s why everyone speaks.”
Tokyo 2020 did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the remarks as reported by the Asahi Shimbun.
On Tuesday, Mori said the Games would go ahead “however the coronavirus (pandemic) evolves,” as Breitbart News reported.
“We should pass on the discussion of whether we will hold the games or not, but instead discuss how we should hold it,” was Mori’s message for fellow members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
AFP contributed to this report