Mr. Mori bowed his head in apology after announcing his resignation on February 13.  Photo: Reuters

Tokyo Olympic organizers criticize ‘talkative women’


Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori resigned as Head of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Organizers because of public pressure after he criticized “women talk a lot”.

On February 13, Mr. Mori announced his resignation and apologized during the meeting of the Olympic Organizing Committee. “I realized what I said went against the spirit of the Olympics and the Paralympic. I deeply regret it,” he said.

Mr. Mori bowed his head in apology after announcing his resignation on February 13. Image: Reuters

At the beginning of February, the 83-year-old politician made public opinion in Japan with a statement about women during the BTC Olympic meeting. According to the sheet The Asahi ShimbunWhen answering a question about the plan to increase the proportion of women in BTC by more than 40%, Mr. Mori said: “If one female member raises his hand, others feel the need to speak up. Everyone will. “If we increase the number of council members to be female, we have to make sure to somewhat limit their speaking time. They have a problem in closing the story, which is annoying.

This statement was revealed when organizers shared safety plans for the athletes attending the event. Organizations involving women around the world and Japan reacted strongly, claiming that this was a manifestation of gender discrimination. Follow Japan Times, 500 volunteers quit their jobs because of dissatisfaction with the head of the BTC. Some donors also expressed concern when things were pushed too far.

According to our poll Kyodo NewsNearly 60% of respondents said Mr. Mori was no longer suitable to lead the 2021 Tokyo Olympics BTC. Only about 7% thought he qualified.

After the announcement of his resignation, Mr. Mori stressed that the most important thing is to successfully organize the Olympics next July. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will meet before choosing a replacement for Mr. Mori.

A new committee to select the Chief of BTC was established urgently. According to CEO Toshiro Muto, this sub-committee is comprised of both male and female members and will meet for the first time this week. Follow Nippon TV, members will submit candidate names and select a new president within the week. However, if there are too many candidates, the process will drag on until next week.

The top candidate is Seiko Hashimoto, the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympics and a former Olympic athlete. Hashimoto is one of only two women in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet. The list also includes Mikako Kotani – an Olympic athlete who served on the Japanese Olympic Committee. Another candidate is Daichi Suzuki – Olympic gold medal winner. Koji Murofushi, a hammer-throwing Olympic gold medalist, is also on the list.

Mr. Mori recommended Saburo Kawabuchi, 84, former President of the Japan Football Federation (JFA), as his successor. But Japanese officials protested, saying that Mr. Mori was not eligible to recommend. Just before Yoshiro Mori resigned, Mr. Kawabuchi also said he would not accept the position.

In the midst of the resurgence of Covid-19 in many countries with a new strain, whether the Olympics will be organized remains a big question. Japan is suffering heavy losses because of the delayed event from the summer of 2020. The cost of land renting, paying volunteers, maintaining facilities … is a burden on BTC. The fact that Mr. Mori – an experienced person – no longer holds the position, pushes the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Organizers into a difficult position. According to a recent poll, 77% of Japanese people agreed to cancel the event completely.

Mr. Mori served as Head of the Tokyo Olympic Committee for seven years, after being appointed by the then Prime Minister of Japan - Mr. Shinzo Abe.

Mr. Mori served as Head of the Tokyo Olympic Committee for seven years, after being appointed by the then Prime Minister of Japan – Mr. Shinzo Abe.

Also on February 13, the 2021 Olympic Organizing Committee released the Covid-19 prevention rule for athletes prior to the participation date. In the 33 pages of the document there is a warning, if a participant fails to comply, he can be fined, stopped playing, or eliminated from the Olympics.

Accordingly, athletes are not allowed to shake hands, hug or interact with each other and should “avoid unnecessary contact”. Every four days, the participant is tested, and if positive for Covid-19, he / she will be banned. Within 72 hours of their departure to Japan, they will be tested for Covid-19. Athletes are exempt from quarantine and participate in training sessions. However, all movement and use of public transport must be recorded.

Unlike previous Olympics, the time spent in Japan and in the athletes village will be kept to a minimum. Gyms, resorts, shops, restaurants, bars … are the places where athletes are banned. Participants can only visit official Olympic venues. Masks are worn at all times, except when eating, competing, exercising or when outdoors, in an open space.

According to the news agency AFP, the organizers plan to give out about 150,000 condoms for free to athletes despite the request “limit contact with others as much as possible”. The athletes’ guide will be revised and updated twice again in April and June.

At the beginning of January 2021, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee confirmed that the event was not canceled, but the possibility was left open to allow foreign fans to participate. Decisions will be made before March, when the procession of the torchlight within Japan will begin in the northeastern province of Fukushima. Olympic is scheduled to open on July 23.

Initially, the Olympics were scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020 – from July 24 to August 9 – but were delayed for a year due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The host country has invested 10,000 billion yen (about $ 9.2 billion) to build infrastructure for the Olympics.

Thuy Lien (according to the Japan Times)

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