Corporate sponsors of the Tokyo Games are voicing concerns that supporting the global sporting event during an ongoing pandemic has been made even riskier, thanks to the sexist remarks made last week by Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, reports Ryusei Takahashi.
According to the organizing committee, several sponsors have raised concerns that advertising at the games could do more harm than good, given that Mori’s comments continue to draw criticism. The International Olympic Committee has also called the remarks “absolutely inappropriate,” although it didn’t mention any further action against Mori.
A group of female opposition lawmakers wore white in the Diet on Tuesday to protest the comments, in an homage to the early 20th century women’s suffrage movement in the U.S.
Members of Japan’s government and sporting establishment, however, are standing by their man. Mori remains insulated within the committee he leads, sources tell Reuters, with officials fearing that his resignation would spell doom for the imperiled and domestically unpopular games.
The No. 2 figure in the ruling party, Toshihiro Nikai, said the hundreds of Olympic volunteers that have decided to quit over Mori’s remarks was a “momentary” problem, and that “their thoughts will change once the situation settles down.” That’s all right then.
Supporters of Tokyo 2020 who have been praying for words of support from the U.S. to boost their cause may have been underwhelmed by President Joe Biden’s first words on the subject — but privately relieved he didn’t mention Mori. The new U.S. leader said Sunday that whether or not the games go ahead this summer must be “based on science.” Very diplomatic.