Feb. 11 (UPI) — Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, is expected to resign after a groundswell of protests over sexist comments he made recently, according to news reports.
Kyodo News, Asahi Shimbun and the Wall Street Journal reported Mori’s resignation is being spurred by remarks he made earlier this month complaining that meetings with women tended to drag on because they talked too much.
Mori initially refused to resign but his remarks have drawn international criticism and hundreds of Olympic volunteers have resigned in protest.
The International Olympic Committee this week rebuked Mori’s comments as “absolutely inappropriate” and he has since apologized.
The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee is expected to meet Friday to address the issue, according to the reports.
Saburo Kawabuchi, former president of the Japan Football Association, is said to be the leading candidate to replace Mori as head of the organizing committee.
Mori’s reported exit is another problem for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which are scheduled to open on July 23. The Games were postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Japanese government and IOC last month denied a report that said organizers expect to cancel the upcoming Olympics, which would be the first staged in Japan since 1998.