The head of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee Mori Yoshiro has decided to step down after his comments about women were widely criticized.
Former Prime Minister Mori said on February 3 that board meetings attended by women take too much time. He later apologized and rescinded the comment.
However, the remarks drew a barrage of criticism, resulting in hundreds of volunteers for the Tokyo games quitting.
On Thursday, Mori conveyed to relevant parties his intention to step down as committee chief. He reportedly said he wants to take responsibility for his remarks.
Sources say Mori met with former chairman of Japan’s professional soccer league Kawabuchi Saburo in Tokyo on Thursday after deciding to resign over his controversial comments on women, and asked him to take the post.
Kawabuchi later told reporters that he would do his best for a successful Games if he is chosen as president.
Mori, now 83, won a seat in the Lower House of the Diet in 1969 on the ticket of the Liberal Democratic Party, the first of 14 consecutive electoral wins. After serving in key government and party posts, he was prime minister for around a year from April 2000.
He retired from politics in 2012 and assumed the post of the president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics two years later. He has spearheaded efforts to prepare for the games.
Kwaku Adu, DNT News, Tokyo, Japan