TOKYO: Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori bowed to mounting pressure and resigned on Friday over sexist remarks, but his replacement was not immediately clear after opposition emerged to his favoured successor.
Mori, 83, sparked outrage by claiming last week that women speak too much in meetings, with officials, sports stars and Olympic sponsors slamming the remarks as inappropriate. On Friday he announced he would step down, effective immediately.
“My inappropriate statement has caused a lot of chaos. I would like to express my sincere apologies,” he told a meeting of Tokyo 2020’s executive board and the council called to discuss his remarks.
The race to fill Mori’s former post is now wide open, with reports suggesting Hashimoto – a former Winter and Summer Olympian and one of just two women in the cabinet – was a leading candidate. The fallout comes with organisers already battling public doubt about holding the huge international event this summer.
Around 80 per cent of Japanese polled in recent surveys back either further postponement or outright cancellation.