The No. 2 figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has backed Yoshiro Mori to stay on as the head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee despite Mori's sexist remarks last week that have drawn criticism at home and abroad.

"I would like him to work hard to meet the expectations of the people around him," Toshihiro Nikai, who has served as LDP secretary-general since 2016, said during a news conference Monday.

Nikai, an influential figure in the party headed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, said it would "not be a problem" for Mori to remain as the president of the committee since he has already retracted his remarks about women talking too much during meetings.