The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee will maintain a gathering on mori feedback whereas volunteers withdraw their assist
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori in Tokyo
TOKYO (Reuters) – The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee will convene a special meeting on Friday after the outcry over the sexist remarks by committee president Yoshiro Mori, the public broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.
There are no plans to discuss Mori's resignation at the meeting, but he could face a barrage of criticism over his comments, Nikkan Sports said in a separate report.
Mori has come under fire for saying last week that meetings with female participants are long, adding that they become "competitive" with one another. He apologized and withdrew his comments, but the public outrage seems far from appeased.
According to Mori, around 440 volunteers from Games have quit and local organizers have received more than 5,500 complaints, according to local media.
"We take this very seriously," said Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto on Tuesday morning when asked about the volunteers' resignation.
Daichi Oyama, 28, who retired from volunteering because of coronavirus concerns, said of Mori, "If he says something is getting worse every time, he should stop …"
"It wasn't just Japanese news, the whole world heard what he said and opposition is being raised. It's a very embarrassing thing for Japan," he said.
But around 80,000 people have signed up for the Summer Games, and many others are still staying.
"That was definitely a gaffe, but Mori is old … and I think people that age tend to look down on women, it's a factor of their age," said Misako Yoshizawa, 70, who teaches English. The time in Saitama Prefecture and their plans to volunteer have not changed despite the outcry.
"Mori is Mori, I am not his volunteer. I am a volunteer working on hosting the Tokyo Olympics," she added.
Nonetheless, an online petition seeking action against Mori has garnered 140,000 signatures so far, and an editorial published Tuesday in the Mainichi daily called for Mori to resign.
"This is not a topic that can be closed with a revocation or an apology," said the editorial team.
The sponsors have also distanced themselves. Insurance company Nippon Life Insurance Company told the daily Asahi that they were "disappointed" with the comments and had made this clear to the organizing committee.
Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the influential business lobby Keidanren, initially waived comment, but later said, "I think some people in Japan really think that way" and that "social media is terrifying" considering how quickly comments are shared and shared online to be spread .
When asked what he meant, Nakanishi said it was common in Japan to distinguish between men and women, but that thinking was out of date, according to TV Asahi.
But the comment was trending on social media until Monday morning, and the people who took to Twitter also expressed frustration with Nakanishi's comments.
"He made a full statement on Japan, but I think that's what the chairman himself thinks. He's the same as President Mori in not being able to listen to his critics," said a Twitter user .