Former prime minister of Japan, Yoshiro Mori’s comments, in which he said ‘women speak too much in meetings’ have been criticised, with many calling for his resignation.
He said that regulating women’s speaking time was needed, “or else we’ll never be able to finish… Women have a strong sense of competition. If one person raises their hand, others probably think, I need to say something too. That’s why everyone speaks.”
The 83-year-old Olympics Chief on Thursday apologised for making sexist remarks but refused to resign.
Yoshiro Mori dug a deeper hole when he admitted “I don’t speak to women much” in a hastily organised press conference called to make his apology.
And while Mori said his initial remarks were “inappropriate” he became defensive when questioned, insisting he had heard complaints that women speak at length.
Mori is reported to have said Wednesday that “board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time”.
“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 was quoted as saying.
Mori, who is known for his gaffes, did not dispute the report and told reporters he wanted to “retract” his comments.
He said “I would also like to retract what I said. I would like to apologise to everyone who was offended.”
But quickly added that he was not thinking about resigning and insisted he was responding to comments he had heard about women speaking for too long.
Mr. Mori has a history of making controversial remarks, and made waves earlier this week by insisting the pandemic-posted Games would go ahead this summer “however the coronavirus (pandemic) evolves”.
The comments came with polls showing around 80 percent of Japanese oppose holding the Games this year, and as several parts of Japan are under a virus state of emergency.
On Thursday, a popular Japanese comedian described those remarks as “incomprehensible” and said he would no longer take part in the Olympic torch relay.