TOKYO (JAPAN) – After Yoshiro Mori’s sexist remark set off a social media firestorm, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the games were facing a “major issue” following it.
Mori commented that women talked too much. Though he later apologised for the remarks he refused to resign over it.
“The mission of the metropolis and the organising committee is to prepare for a safe and secure Games, and we are facing a major issue,” Koike said.
She also said she’d heard the Tokyo government was fielding complaint calls from city residents.
“I myself was struck speechless by his comments, which should not have been made.”
Yasuhiro Yamashita, head of the JOC, said Mori’s comments went against the Olympic spirit and were inappropriate, Kyodo news agency reported.
“There’s all kinds of criticism. I would hope that people grasp the fact that (preparation for) the Games must proceed with the understanding and cooperation of people around the world,” Japan’s top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.
He said the government’s understanding was that the IOC considered the matter closed. The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday that Mori’s apology had settled the issue, but criticism of Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, continued on Friday.
Anger over Mori’s comments is likely to further alienate a Japanese public wary of Tokyo’s attempts to hold the Games during a pandemic.