The Tokyo Olympics have run into some more trouble, this time of their own doing.
The president of the organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, reportedly made some questionable remarks during a Japanese Olympic Committee meeting on Wednesday, saying female committee directors were “annoying” because of how much they talk.
The comment, which was reported by Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, was made in response to adding more women to the committee.
“If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” Mori said, according to the report. “We have about seven women at the organizing committee but everyone understands their place.”
In fact, there are only five women on the 25-person committee. In 2019, the committee said it wanted it to be 40 percent female.
The remarks made by the 83-year-old former prime minister were met with some laughter, according to the report, but it’s not the first time Mori has made controversial statements.
On Tuesday, Mori said the Tokyo Games, which were postponed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, would go on this summer regardless of what’s going on with the pandemic. In a meeting with Japan’s Sports Research Commission, Mori said “we will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus [situation] looks”.