Tokyo 2020 chief Mori says women talk too much at meeting

Yoshiro Mori. File

Mori, a former Prime Minister, made the comments at an Olympics board of trustees event Wednesday.When asked about the Japan Olympic Committee's goal of increasing the number of women on its board of directors from 20% to 40%, Mori said he was concerned about how that would affect the length of meetings.

"It was an inappropriate remark".

"A meeting of an executive board that includes many women would take time", Mori, 83, said at the online meeting, which was shown to media representatives. "I'm going to have to suffer again because you've antagonised women, '" he said.

The JOC decided past year to aim to have 40 percent female board members, but as of November, there are just five women among the board's 24 members.

"The education ministry has been very insistent about choosing female directors".

Mori plans to speak to media at 2 explain his comments and apologize, Nippon TV reported. "Everyone ends up saying something".

Mr Mori's comments also caused immediate furore on social media, where the hashtag "Mori, please resign" was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday morning.

"Gender equality and consideration for people with disabilities were supposed to be a given for the Tokyo Games", Yamaguchi said.

'We have about seven women at the organising committee but everyone understands their place, ' Mori is reported to have told JOC members.

Interestingly, the JOC in 2020 made a decision to aim for more than 40 per cent of female members at the board. Women now comprise only 20% of members.

"If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying", Mr Mori was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. "Otherwise they'll never stop, which is problematic", Mori said.

He was speaking at Wednesday's meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

The changes, published today in the International Olympic Committee's first official "playbook" for the Tokyo 2021 summer games, which were deferred from 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, offer a first glimpse at what the massive sports festival will look like in the age of the coronavirus.

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