Tokyo Olympics chief apologizes for saying women talk too much in meetings

Yoshiro Mori
(Image credit: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The head of the Tokyo Olympics' organizing committee has apologized to "those who were offended" by his sexist comments complaining that women talk too much in meetings, but he's refusing to resign amid the outrage.

Yoshiro Mori, who serves as president of the Tokyo Olympics' organizing committee and was formerly Japan's prime minister, faced calls to resign on Wednesday after saying that "board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time" because they talk too much. The comments came as he spoke about the fact that there aren't more women on the Japanese Olympic Committee board, according to The Washington Post.

"If we are going to have more women directors, someone has remarked, then meetings go on for a long time unless we restrict the comments," he reportedly said, adding, "Women are competitive. When one person raises a hand, others think they need to speak up as well. That's why everyone speaks."

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Facing outrage over the remarks, Mori expressed "remorse" on Thursday, The Washington Post reports.

"Regarding my remark yesterday, it was going against the mentality of the Olympics and Paralympics," Mori said, per the Post. "I would like to take back what I said, and apologize to those who were offended by my remarks. The Olympics and Paralympics represent the equality of both men and women, and I am thankful for the women athletes and staff."

But Mori said he has "no thought of resigning" amid demands he do so, and Reuters reports that when asked if he actually does think women talk too much, he said, "I don't listen to women that much lately so I don't know." The Post also writes that as he spoke, he "showed no obvious signs of regret, and he smiled several times."

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