Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tokyo 2020 organisers to discuss chief’s sexist remarks



Tokyo 2020 organisers to discuss chief’s sexist remarks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori listens to a question from a journalist during a news conference in Tokyo last Thursday. AFP

Tokyo 2020 organisers to discuss chief’s sexist remarks

Tokyo Olympics organisers are planning to meet this week to discuss their response to sexist comments made by their boss, said reports on February 9, after hundreds of event volunteers quit in the ensuing furore.

Gaffe-prone Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori, 83, sparked uproar in Japan and abroad last week when he said women speak too much in meetings.

He has since apologised but refused to step down, and the International Olympic Committee says it considers the matter closed.

Japanese media said the Tokyo 2020 organising committee is planning to meet later this week, possibly on February 12, to discuss its response as calls grow for Mori to resign.

Following Mori’s remarks, 390 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers have quit, the committee said, noting that this number includes withdrawals for all reasons.

A total of 80,000 volunteers from Japan and overseas have been recruited for this summer’s virus-postponed Games.

Two people have pulled out of the torch relay and around 4,000 people made complaint calls to organisers, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The row is the latest headache for organisers already battling public disquiet about the delayed Olympics, with polls showing more than 80 per cent of Japanese oppose holding the event this summer.

Mori apologised on February 3 and said he wished to retract his remarks – but then became defensive when questioned, insisting he had heard complaints that women speak at length.

An online campaign calling for action against Mori has attracted more than 140,000 signatures, while tennis superstar Naomi Osaka slammed the comments as “ignorant”.

Top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said that organisers should try to convince volunteers to return.

“It is important that the organising committee gives a careful explanation to volunteers,” he said, after Tokyo 2020 released a statement quoting Mori’s apology and reaffirming its commitment to gender equality and diversity.

But ruling party heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai also reportedly said Monday that volunteers “would change their minds when things calm down”, sparking further ire online and from other politicians.

“If they really want to quit, we’ll need to recruit new ones,” he said, according the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Some Olympic sponsors have expressed disappointment to organisers over the furore, the Mainichi Shimbun daily reported.

Some firms told organisers they had received complaints and boycott threats after Mori’s comments, the Mainichi said, citing unnamed sources.

“We would like to refrain from ‘performing’ with president Mori” to promote products, the newspaper quoted one company official as saying.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy