The head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee has apologised for making “inappropriate” remarks about women, after calls for his resignation.
Yoshiro Mori retracted the comments but said he was not planning to stand down.
The Games chief, 83, was earlier quoted as saying women talk too much and that meetings with many female board directors would “take a lot of time”.
The International Olympic Committee told Reuters it considered the “issue closed” following the apology.
Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said she wanted to hold “thorough discussions” with Mr Mori, a former Japanese prime minister.
“The Olympics’ fundamental principle is to promote women’s advancement in sport at all levels and organisations in order to realise gender equality,” she said, according to local media.
Mr Mori made the remarks at Wednesday’s meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee.
The committee board currently has 24 members, five of whom are women.
In 2019, the committee – which is responsible for selecting Japanese Olympians – set itself a goal of increasing the number of female board directors to 40%.
“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,” Mr Mori was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
“We have about seven women at the organising committee but everyone understands their place,” he said.
Mr Mori is known in the country for a string of gaffes and undiplomatic statements he made while in office from 2000 to 2001.
His latest comments triggered anger on social media, with the hashtag #Moriresign trending on Twitter.
“Shame. It’s time, get out,” one user tweeted, while another urged athletes to boycott the Games if Mr Mori kept his job.
Mr Mori told Japan’s Mainichi newspaper that female family members had also lambasted him.
“Last night, my wife gave me a thorough scolding. She said: ‘You’ve said something bad again, haven’t you? I’m going to have to suffer again because you’ve antagonised women,'” he said.
“This morning, my daughter and granddaughter scolded me as well,” the paper quoted him as saying.
At a press conference on Thursday, he was asked on what basis he said women board members were too long-winded.
“I don’t talk to women that much lately, so I don’t know,” Mr Mori replied.
Responding to questions in parliament, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the remarks should not have been made.
The Tokyo Olympics organising committee – which has 36 executive board members – is tasked with “ensuring the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games”, which have been delayed by a year because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The committee takes its members from various organisations including the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Tokyo metropolitan government, and Japan’s national government.
- 16 feared dead, over 40 injured in Gomoa Okyereko accident on Accra-Cape Coast highway
- Supreme Court ‘cautions and discharges’ NDC’s Kpessa Whyte after convicting him for contempt
- Pressure mounts on cedi; loses 9% in value to dollar last week
- Nigeria: Hilton Hotel owner, two workers sentenced to death for murder of student
- Bawumia picks NPP flagbearer nomination form
- AFCON 2023Q: Nuamah included, Sowah dropped as Hughton names Ghana squad to face Madagascar
- Parliament writes to EC, declares Assin North seat vacant
- 2023 U23 AFCON: Kamaldeen Sulemana to be called up to Black Meteors squad for tournament
- Learn your trade, don’t force a move from Ajax – Liverpool legend advises Ghana star Mohammed Kudus
- Resign and concentrate on your health; Ahanta West needs development – NDC tells Kojo Kum
- Gasonu’s family asks police to unravel cause of his death
- Government must engage labour on IMF deal – Austin Gamey
- Permit service personnel to teach you fire preventive measures – ADO2 Nartey
- We have burden-shared enough, government needs to show commitment – GRNMA
- Arrest made in killing of New Jersey council woman Eunice Dwumfour
- Government should brace itself for a possible showdown should it attempt salary reduction – GRNMA
- Fire burns Madina-Ritz junction again
- UCC’s Prof David Teye Doku named best Social Sciences and Humanities Scientist in Ghana
- Prof Gyampo slams Akufo-Addo over presidency’s request for CVs of senior EC officials
- Petrol, diesel prices to stay same; LPG to go down 5% – IES
- Prudential Life Insurance targets informal sector with ‘Mekakrawa’ insurance policy
- STEM education: Afia Kobi SHS students build model aircraft to aid maritime surveillance
- Cigar smoked by Sir Winston Churchill nearly 80 years ago up for auction
- Bofoakwa Tano seal Ghana Premier League return after beating Eleven Wonders on penalties
- National Cathedral: We need $100m to import steel for work to proceed – Dr Opoku Mensah