Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori on Thursday apologised for sexist comments about women talking too much, but said he would not resign, even as his remarks sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media and risked tainting public opinion of the Games.
Mori, 83, apologised at a hastily called news conference, but when pressed on whether he really thought women talked too much, he said: "I don't listen to women that much lately so I don't know".
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics board would have to decide on any resignation by Mori, Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said later on Thursday.
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"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," said Mori, according to local media.
"We have about seven women at the organising committee but everyone understands their place."
The JOC decided in 2019 to aim for more than 40 percent female members on the board, but there are just five women among the board's 24 members.
Mori acknowledged that his comments were "inappropriate" and against the Olympic spirit.
"I feel deep remorse and I would like to retract my remarks," he told reporters.
Asked about Mori's remarks in parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said his comments should not have been made.
The International Olympic Committee considers the "issue closed" following Mori's apology.
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