On Wednesday, Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori said women talk too much in meetings and suggested speaking time for women should be limited. On Thursday, he apologized, saying he retracted the comments but that he would not step down. The hashtag “Mori, please resign” was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday.
The Tokyo Games are advertised as celebrating “unity in diversity” and “passing on a legacy for the future,” note Minky Worden and Kanae Doi in an unrelated but timely commentary. While Mori’s remarks have shone a light on crusty attitudes to gender, Worden and Dio see the games as a prime opportunity for Japan to step up on the issue of LGBT rights.
The time has come, they write, to enact a law to protect LGBT people from discrimination and bring the nation in line with international standards. Visitors to Japan for the games may be surprised to learn that such a law doesn’t exist already.
The Mori furor offered a brief respite from fevered speculation over the fate of the games. Tokyo Olympic organizers are adamant they will happen in summer, despite the pandemic, and on Wednesday they presented one of the first concrete road maps of how they plan to pull it off, reports Jason Coskrey, in the form of a playbook for international federations and technical officials.
Ramming home that positive message in an interview with Kyodo, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons rattled off a bunch of reasons why he believes the games can be held in a safe environment for everyone involved.
And if they can’t, we’ll always have Paris … won’t we? Tony Estanguet, head of the 2024 organizing committee, assured reporters Tuesday that the French capital will be ready to host the Paris Games even if — please, no, don’t even say it — the pandemic is still ongoing. Contingency plans, he said, are already in the works.