The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, and Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the organizing committee of the Olympic Games, refuse the resignation of Yoshiro Mori (in photo).

The controversy triggered by the words of the president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Yoshiro Mori, according to which “Women talk too much during meetings”, continues to grow, revealing Japan’s difficulties in breaking out of its gender archaisms.

A petition calling for the adoption of “Appropriate sanctions”, measures for “Prevent the recurrence of such acts” and an “Greater diversity among [les] frames “ of the organizing committee had gathered, Sunday, February 7, more than 127,000 signatures.

The day before, the popular Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, had castigated the ignorance of an official who should “Inquire to find out what he is talking about” and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike spoke of a ” serious problem “.

The case met with international echo since the NGO Human Rights Watch awarded “The gold medal for sexism” to M. Mori. Several embassies in Japan, including those of the European Union, Germany and Portugal, posted on Twitter messages with the hashtags “Don’t be silent” and “Gender equality”. All this, without counting the calls for the resignation of Mr. Mori.

Apologies, but no resignation

Anger followed Mr. Mori’s February 2 statements lamenting that “Boards of directors with a lot of women take too long”, because they have, according to him, “Hard to finish” their interventions. Mr. Mori was also delighted to see the women of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee “Stay in their place”. Faced with criticism, he apologized but ruled out resigning.

His lip-smacking regrets only heightened the anger

His lip service, a bit annoyed, only exacerbated the anger aroused by comments that contrast with the principles claimed by the Olympic community. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) aims for strict parity between men and women during the competitions, a goal which should be reached in Paris, in 2024.

In the archipelago, the sports federations, confronted in recent years with several cases of harassment, including in judo, and the Japanese Olympic Committee (COJ), have adopted the objective, set in 2020 by the government, of increasing to 40% the share of women on boards of directors before 2030.

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