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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 February 3 - 9  > Tokyo Games' head Mori looks down on women
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2021 February 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo Games' head Mori looks down on women

February 6, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Mori Yoshiro, president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee, at an extraordinary meeting of the JOC on February 3 said that board meetings with many women in attendance take up more time, suggesting that the time to speak at meetings be limited if the JOC plans to increase women board members.

These remarks have come under fire both at home and abroad.

Mori obviously looks down on women, frowning on women's active participation in decision-making processes. His hostile view of women expressing their opinions in discussions at meetings is tantamount to denying democracy respecting a diversity of opinions. His remarks are incompatible with not only the Olympic Charter prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation but also with a basic principle of the Tokyo Games promoting: "diversity and harmony".

Mori held a press conference on the following day and retracted his inappropriate remarks about women while refusing to resign as president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. Asked by the press "What do you think was inappropriate in your remarks?", Mori answered, "When I distinguished between women and men." To the question, "Do you think women talk too much compared with men?", Mori replied, "I don't know because I haven't talked to women recently," adding, "It’s something I’ve heard." He said to reporters, "You are asking me questions like that because you want to write articles that amuse readers, right?" This further fueled pubic anger.

Following Mori's remarks, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said, "Such remarks should not have been made," but did not show any intent to urge Mori to step down. The central government has been granting full authority over the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to Mori who frequently makes sexist statements and political gaffes. In addition to the JOC, the government should be held responsible. The attitude of JOC board members who did not remonstrate Mori when he made the remarks should also be called into question.

Mori still insists on the holding of the Tokyo Games this summer, saying, "Irrespective of whatever the coronavirus situation may be, the Games will definitely be held." He places priority on the Games over lives of athletes and the general public. He is not qualified to be the Tokyo Olympics president.

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