Yoshiro Mori, who serves as the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, said he doesn't plan to resign following derogatory comments that he made about women earlier this week. Mori has been facing pressure to step down.
"I am not thinking to resign," Mori said. "I have been working hard and helped devotedly for seven years. I will not be stepping down."
During a recent meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee board of directors, Mori said that women talk too much in meetings, according to the daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The comment reportedly came when Mori was asked about there being very few women on the board of the Japanese Olympic Committee.
"Women are very competitive," Asahi Shimbun reported that Mori said. "When one of them raises her hand, they probably think they have to say something, too. And then everyone says something."
Mori did apologize for the controversial comments.
"The statement made at the Japan Olympic Committee was an inappropriate expression, contrary to the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics," Mori said on Thursday. "I am deeply remorseful. I would like to withdraw the statement. I would like to apologize for any unpleasant feelings."
Japan is already facing incredible pressure with the Olympics scheduled to begin on July 23. The 2020 Olympics were postponed last summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Japanese polls, an estimated 80 percent believe that the Olympics should be postponed or canceled due to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases.