Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori has resigned after mounting pressure on him over a comment last week that “meetings drag on because women talk too much”.
His replacement was not immediately clear after opposition emerged to his favoured successor, the 84-year old Saburo Kawabuchi, a former former head of the Japan Football Association (JFA.)
Kawabuchi, 84, played for Japan at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and scored an equalizer in a game against Argentina.
Thus the resignation of Yoshiro Mori has left a leadership vacuum and add to the woes of organisers struggling to win over a sceptical public less than six months before coronavirus-delayed Games.
Mori, 83, sparked domestic and international outrage by claiming last week that women speak too much in meetings, with officials, sports stars and Olympic sponsors slamming the remarks as inappropriate.
On Friday, he announced he would step down, effective immediately.
“My inappropriate statement has caused a lot of chaos. I would like to express my sincere apologies,” he told a meeting of Tokyo 2020’s executive board and council called to discuss his remarks. “I wish to resign as the president as of today,” he added.