Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, apologized Thursday for comments he made suggesting women talk too much in meetings.
Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister of Japan, made the remarks during an executive meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee that was held online Wednesday. When giving his "private opinion" about the committee's goal of increasing the number of female board directors from 20% to more than 40%, Mori expressed concern about how that would affect the length of meetings, according to a report by The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan's largest daily newspapers.
"A meeting of an executive board that includes many women would take time," Mori was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "Women are competitive. When someone raises his or her hand and speaks, they probably think they should speak too. That is why they all end up making comments."
He also referred to the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, saying it "includes about seven women, but they all know how to behave," the newspaper reported.
Mori's remarks provoked laughter from some of the committee members, according to the newspaper. But on social media, as reports of his comments surfaced, people quickly began calling for Mori to resign.