Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tokyo 2020’s Yoshiro Mori ‘sorry’ after sexism row



Tokyo 2020’s Yoshiro Mori ‘sorry’ after sexism row

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A former Japanese prime minister, the 83-year-old has a history of making public gaffes Takashi Aoyama. POOL/AFP/File

Tokyo 2020’s Yoshiro Mori ‘sorry’ after sexism row

Tokyo 2020 Games chief Yoshiro Mori has apologised and said he may have to resign after sparking a sexism row by claiming women “have difficulty” speaking concisely, a Japanese daily said on February 4.

Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister known for public gaffes, told the Mainichi was sorry for his “thoughtless” remarks, which prompted calls for him to step down.

“I think I might have to take responsibility, and if calls for my resignation grow louder, I might be compelled to resign,” Mori was quoted as saying.

“It was thoughtless. I’d like to apologise,” he added.

Mori was reported as saying on February 3 that “board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time”, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.

“When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn’t restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” he reportedly said.

The comments sparked a furious reaction in Japan, with the phrases “enough already”, “misogyny” and “we demand Yoshiro Mori resigns” all trending on Twitter.

Mori said he had been taken to task by the female members of his family as a result.

“Last night, my wife gave me a thorough scolding,” Mori told the Mainichi.

“She said: ‘You’ve said something bad again, haven’t you? I’m going to have to suffer again because you’ve antagonised women.’ This morning, my daughter and granddaughter scolded me as well,” he said.

“I was trying to say that I wonder about the general opinion that we should just increase the number of women,” he added. “I wasn’t trying to slight women at all.”

He made the remarks to members of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC), some of whom were reported to have laughed in response.

The JOC itself decided last year to aim for more than 40 per cent of female members at the board, but as of November, there are just five women among the board’s 24 members.

Tokyo 2020 has not so far responded to a request for comment on Mori’s remarks, and a government spokesman declined to be drawn on calls for his resignation.

While ranking highly on a range of international indicators, Japan persistently trails on promoting gender equality, ranking 121 out of 153 nations surveyed in the 2020 global gender gap report of the World Economic Forum.

MOST VIEWED

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • 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

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Transport minister requests free trial of Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transport held discussions with the company constructing the expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province to allow drivers to test the road free of charge before an official toll is set. While inspecting the progress of its construction