Yoshiro Mori. Image Credit: AP

The chief of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee, and former Japanese prime minister, has apologised for saying women talk too much and that their speaking time should be limited because “they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying.”

Calls have rung out for Yoshiro Mori’s resignation. Even though Mori has apologised, he doesn’t plan to step down from his position.

Mori, as quoted in a Japanese newspaper, said: “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.”

In 2019, Mori’s committee — made up of 24 members of which five are women — set a goal to increase the number of female members by 40 per cent.

“We have about seven women at the organising committee but everyone understands their place,” said Mori.

Yoshiro Mori. Image Credit: AP

At a Wednesday press conference, Mori apologised.

“My remarks went against the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics and were inappropriate. For that, I feel deep remorse and I would like to retract my remarks. I also want to apologise to the people I offended.”

However, Mori doesn’t plan to step down.

“I have no intention of resigning. I have been working hard, constructively helping, for seven years. If people say I’m in the way...then maybe they can sweep me away,” he said.

“I didn’t make the comments at our own organisation, but at the Japan Olympic Committee. And that was because they came to me for advice. And on personnel matters I told JOC [chief Yasuhiro] Yamashita that if you get too hung up on the government’s numbers under their governance code you could face difficulties in management,” he continued.