Reactions to Tokyo Olympic Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori’s sexist comments suggesting that women talk too much have been coming in thick and fast over the weekend. In fact, there are so many, T5 has had to make a separate entry below just to list some of them.
Nearly 60% of people in Japan believe Mori is “not qualified” to serve in the top Olympic post, a Kyodo phone survey showed Sunday. Only 7% of respondents said Mori is “qualified” to head the panel. The survey also found that 47% think the Tokyo Games should be postponed, 35% believe they should be canceled and 14.5% say they should be held as planned.
At the time of writing, 130,000 people have signed an online Japanese petition calling for the Japan Olympic Committee to take some kind of action against Mori for the comments. A few European embassies in Japan have tweeted pictures of staff raising their hands under the hashtags #dontbesilent and #genderequality in response to the remarks.
The furor is likely to create further headwinds for the embattled Tokyo Games. Tokyo organizers began damage control measures on Saturday, emailing Olympic volunteers to apologize and seek their continued cooperation in the wake of the comments.
Notable in his absence from the chorus of calls for Mori to quit is Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who says he lacks the power to ask the former PM to step down. Opposition parties have called for Mori’s head, but Suga has been hesitant to criticize Mori, who still has a lot of sway within the ruling party.
As for the man himself, Mori insists he was prepared to quit, but then a rushed meeting was held between him, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto and other officials, reports Eric Johnston. “When I looked around, those who didn’t say anything were all crying,” the Mainichi Shimbun quotes Mori as saying. “What struck home most were Mr. Muto’s words: ‘If you step down as president, what would become of this organization of 5,000 people?’” Bless.