Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori bows as he announces his resignation at a meeting with council and executive board members at the committee headquarters in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via AP
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Mori resigns over sexist remarks: Hashimoto being considered to replace him

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By Kiyoshi Takenaka

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What a comedy routine!! The Olympics have laid bare how hopelessly behind the times Japan is, exactly the opposite of what they had hoped. File this under be careful what you wish for.

23 ( +29 / -6 )

@HimariYamada

We need to get our mindset straight. Right now, if someone is controversial, noisy, having sexist or racist remarks, being 意地悪 straight away, we think he did a lot for the people of Japan.

If there is someone with rather rational approach, trying to keep emotions out of things and doesn't yell, we think he is weak. God forbid if that person was educated abroad!

I can't remember what he has actually done for us and for Japan in the last 30 years. Except being in the politics and in the later years, being oyaji and in the politics/senior positions.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Good riddance. I hope a lot of elderly (and some not so elderly) Japanese men in 'decision making positions' are sitting up and watching this closely as I sign of things to come. A job well done by the 'common folk', many of whom have just realized the power they yield in numbers to effect change.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Does he deserve to have his career destroyed. No

Saying women talk to much is like saying men talk too much. Kids talk too much.

Not something you should have your life, career destroyed forever.

You do realize the guy is an 83 year old former prime minster, right? Not really sure how this harms his career prospects going forward.

30 ( +33 / -3 )

Finally "lowered" his head!

25 ( +28 / -3 )

Does he deserve to have his career destroyed. No

Do you think he was about to embark on a huge new career move at age 83?

27 ( +30 / -3 )

Poor guy. Now he has to go home and listen to his female relatives nag him. And we know they won't stop talking for a long time.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Doesn't anyone want to retire completely? or is it a prerequisite to be over 80 yrs old for these high positions. ha

16 ( +18 / -2 )

and so what?

there will be no tokyo olympics this year anyway...

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Whomever they aim to appoint for the post, "security clearance" or thorough background checks should be made first.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mori recommended Kawabuchi, Kawabuchi said.

That sentence was written with a wry smile, no doubt.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The source, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said many officials want a woman to replace Mori.

Now THAT will really advance women's empowerment in Japan.

How proud the woman will be knowing that despite her qualifications, she was chosen for no other reason than she has ovaries.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

@ReasonandWisdomNippon

Yoshiro Mori's remarks are a symptom of the much larger problem of deep rooted sexism in Japanese society. That is why it is important that he is made an example of, given that he is a former PM and has previously held leadership positions. And his remarks were sexist, as he implied women talk too much and make meetings unproductive, as per his prejudice.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Ms Hashimoto was once alleged of sexual misconduct and power abuse with a male figure skater.

Japanese Olympian turned MP denies sexually harassing skater at Sochi party

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/21/japanese-mp-seiko-hashimoto-denies-sexually-harassing-ice-skater-sochi

A good news, she has (to date) never got charged of the case; a bad news, this is NOT the only one as more "inconvenient" stories may resurface. Media nitpickers would try to chase her. Again, I thus stress security clearance for any candidate.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Anyone man or woman would have to be mad to take up this position. It’s just a mess and there is no time to fix it. Wouldn’t want my name attached to the 2010 - 2021 most expensive games ever that didn’t happen.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The majority of the Japanese people think he was wrong.

The majority of Japanese people also don't give a damn about it. If it had been mentioned in nothing but the Japanese media, they would have rolled their eyes as usual and gotten on with important things like a life.

But now enter the White Social Justice Warrior (TM) -who don't have a life- to bray on until heads roll.

"These Japanese just aren't smart enough to realize how angry they should be!"

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Does he deserve to have his career destroyed.

You realize that the guy is 83, right?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The majority of Japanese people also don't give a damn about it.

You do of course have evidence to back this up.

Remember - facts over narrative and clear thinking over emotion and hysterics.

I’ve come across a bit of a mixed bag among the Japanese people I know. One theme that does seem to come up with Mori is his arrogance and incompetence.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The majority of Japanese people also don't give a damn about it. If it had been mentioned in nothing but the Japanese media, they would have rolled their eyes as usual and gotten on with important things like a life. 

But now enter the White Social Justice Warrior (TM) -who don't have a life- to bray on until heads roll.

"These Japanese just aren't smart enough to realize how angry they should be!"

If I lived on the internet I’d maybe share a similar view. But I don’t.

Which ‘white social justice warrior’ brayed at Toyota? Who wrote articles in every news paper in the world about this? Got any names except the ones you imagine exist?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Think it’s a position only Abe San or his wife could fill, they have all the experience needed for such a position. Fiscal responsibility, organizational skills (Abe masks) contacts both on and under the table, an urge for women to shine, a vision of a beautiful Japan, no shame and a Mario suit. He pushed this as a economic boon, now I want to see him manage it right to the end. Can’t think of a better Japan Olympic chairman.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Last December Ms Hashimoto went out for dining & wining at a high-class restaurant with 5 other members despite warnings amid the virus re-surge.

尾身会長警鐘の夜に… 橋本聖子五輪相「6人で高級寿司会食」ほろ酔い写真

https://bunshun.jp/articles/-/42517

Don't get me wrong I am not trying to abort her appointment. Please check backgrounds and get prepared for media nitpicks. Even my quick, airmchair search has already found several "inconvenient" stories for her. Real-investigative journalists or pro-paparrazzi would never like to stop short.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had asked Mori if there was either a younger or a female candidate to succeed, but Mori recommended Kawabuchi

Hello, Mori, is there someone inside that head of yours?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mori was 1 of the worst prime ministers that ever served the country, general view he was never very clever,

read the history of some of his time as PM.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Was his comment inappropriate. Yes

Does he deserve to have his career destroyed. Yes

Actually I thought it was destroyed some 20 years ago when as the worst ever Japanese PM he was forced to resign yet here is 20 years later in a position of power forced to resign yet again

And why was he so indispensable for the Olympics to continue. I guess it is for sharing the brown paper bags around. And his pick from the old boys club to keep the wheels turning seems to have been rejected. Oh woe if some body outside the club gets the position and were to expose what is happening. But I guess there is no chance of that. Olympics will be held no matter what.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Olympics have laid bare how hopelessly behind the times Japan is, exactly the opposite of what they had hoped. File this under be careful what you wish for.

Some of it will have been an attempt to revive the spirit of the last Tokyo Olympics. As stickman points out though, they have shown that major parts of Japan are still stuck in a place goes back way beyond 1964.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They were all set to appoint Hashimoto, but apparently she talks too much at meetings...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Goodbye mori..he made a good decision to leave..or he was made to leave..i always say ,,when you talk you have to watch your words..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What an absolute car crash the Tokyo Olympics have become.

1.The majority of Japanese working class were against them before Dentsu got their greedy claws in there.

2.The IOC bribery scandal.

3.The stadium debacle.

4.The logo mess up.

5.The Japanese dude who was called out by the Olympic dudes for cheating.

6.The marathon being held in Sapporo even though this is supposed to be the Tokyo Olympics.

7.The case that the JOC said that Tokyo's weather was ideal for outdoor pursuits in July and August despite it being dangerously high for that.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Seiko Hashimoto, setting aside gender identities, is a politician.

The role will require a professional able to analyze and managing project financial risk.

Able to determine the current scope and downside of the pandemic, and crucially able to direct completion of specific roles tasked to project teams.

To identify resources, and cost structure, will be paramount for the success or failure of the whole Tokyo Olympic Games.

Also to focus on negotiating techniques necessary to avert a financial catastrophe.

I would hazard a guess that this is the reasoning, 84-year-old Saburo Kawabuchi ran for cover and closed the hatch.

Seiko Hashimoto should walk away.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This old fossil deserves what het gets,but this is just the top of the whole problem.

Japan needs to reform it’s education toward women from childhood and reset this outdated mindset.

I’m worried that they just pushed Mori out of his chair because the world is watching.

But after that? Will they really go through the deep reforms to modernize and equalize a deep rooted still feudal pyramiding society?

Also I must say that some people do not truly speak real wisdom even if they use new accounts ;)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

He did the right thing, good on him.

Lot of people I know wouldn't have caved in.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had asked Mori if there was either a younger or a female candidate to succeed, but Mori recommended Kawabuchi

Hello, Mori, is there someone inside that head of yours?

Bet you Kawabuchi would have reliably looked after the spare money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, Hashimoto fits quite many good criteria if her nomination is confirmed. She is her 50s (which is an ideal age range for any nomination in that position), is a decorated Olympian (Bronze medal at the 1992 Albertville Olympics in speed skating), and has worked at the president of the Japanese speed skating federation.

A good news, she has (to date) never got charged of the case; a bad news, this is NOT the only one as more "inconvenient" stories may resurface. Media nitpickers would try to chase her. Again, I thus stress security clearance for any candidate.

I searched on that story for what has been said about it. As you wrote, there was never any charge as both parties denied the incident altogether. However, the disgruntled oyaji, who got denied further control, may still have a share of sympathizers in the media ready to jump on the slightest piece of meat like junkyard dogs. I hope she will be ready if they have a go at her.

No matter what comes next for the Tokyo Olympics, I feel more comfortable with her at the helm of what is left of the project and perhaps for something further in the future of the JOC.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yoshiro Mori's remarks are a symptom of the much larger problem of deep rooted sexism in Japanese society. 

Never forget, there are plenty of women that make it a problem as well. I know a few, that saw no problem with Mori's comments, and they agreed with his premise that women talk to much.

When you have women that agree with that BS, change is a long, long, long, way away!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yubaro I tend to agree with you but also keep in mind the context.

Japanese women or most of them have been brought up in not questioning the authorities and the hierarchy.

So it is easier to say than be done to ask the majority of females to stand their ground.

After all they are victims of a rooted and long aged brainwashing propaganda.

Sadly but I think only from external pressure something might change to better for equality in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good riddance to this aging fossil

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So it is easier to say than be done to ask the majority of females to stand their ground.

After all they are victims of a rooted and long aged brainwashing propaganda.

I wouldn’t be too condescending here. I’ve known a few highly capable women at my place of work who refused the ‘opportunity’ to be promoted to no overtime pay management positions which makes Monday to Friday a write-off in terms of free time. It’s much, much harder for men to say no to a promotion.

Sane working hours could go a long way to addressing the imbalances.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Don't get it. He said when there are women at meetings, it takes more time. When one woman raises her hand to talk, other women also want to talk, it's their competitiveness.

What's wrong with that?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's been reported in other media that in the end it was the outside " foreign" pressure that once again was the catalyst for change. Apparently on the video conference call on Tuesday it was John Coates who told Mori in " no uncertain terms " that corporate sponsors at highest levels " have expressed strong reservations about his statement leaving Mori with no option but to pack his bags. Good riddance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Lamilly The problem is Mori was head of an organization that values gender diversity and inclusion throughout the world. As the head he needs to be the prime role model s who shows they support these views. His comments showed his thinking was opposite to the values, so he needs to go.

I look forward to seeing a young non-political female leader. There is a lot around!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The political and social culture, if one wants to focus on women in business, has a role to play in identifying reform.

The question remains, is changing hearts and minds in a natural political process.

Of course this cultural acceptance of roles women contribute in society and business must represent more than an apology and Mori san resignation.

The resignation must go hand in hand with structural change and the attitude of 18 to 25 years old's willingness to contribute.

So thus to understanding the essential role students have to play for Japan political future.

The education system is lacking in every respect.

I went to my local high school, without going into detail, asked every student to turn off there phones.

Then I offered 100,000 yen to the student who could name there member of the diet.

Not one.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The majority of Japanese people also don't give a damn about it. If it had been mentioned in nothing but the Japanese media, they would have rolled their eyes as usual and gotten on with important things like a life.

But now enter the White Social Justice Warrior (TM) -who don't have a life- to bray on until heads roll.

"These Japanese just aren't smart enough to realize how angry they should be!"

Exactly, very true. As I said on another story a couple of days ago it's the overseas leftist media and usual twitter twits that have forced this issue through as it is an international issue. If it were a domestic issue we would been long over it with Mori still in position. It's naive that some on here see this as a change in Japanese culture.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Don't get it. He said when there are women at meetings, it takes more time. When one woman raises her hand to talk, other women also want to talk, it's their competitiveness.

What's wrong with that?

Nothing is wrong with it If you are a rational thinking person who treats everyone equal.

However the problem arises as it's a criticism of women and in any form that is not allowed by lefties. We have to treat women differently than men, if you have the audacity to try to treat women equal to men (logistically try to organise time slots and give each person the same allotted time to talk) then you are a misogyinst dinosaur and must be removed.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Throughout Mori-san's life,he is living under privileged and granted, he has no idea of what other thinks or what are the circumstances of the nation!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Don't get it. He said when there are women at meetings, it takes more time. When one woman raises her hand to talk, other women also want to talk, it's their competitiveness.

What's wrong with that?

Nothing. That’s why the whole thing is comical. I bet that anyone seriously mad at Mori for this talks too much and useless at meetings. LOL.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If it were a domestic issue we would been long over it with Mori still in position. 

In my time in Japan I’ve seen a change in the zeitgeist in politics and in the workplace. Shintaro Ishihara was taken to court by Japanese women for derogatory comments about women quite a few years ago. His comments were more offensive than Mori’s, but that was a domestic issue.

I don’t think you can blame that on the overseas leftist media.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Only thing to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo Joe, you make Mori look enlightened. You do not need to be afraid of women in the workplace even if many are far better than you may be. Let the best woman win.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He only spoke an inconvenient and politically incorrect opinion.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Tokyo Joe, you make Mori look enlightened. You do not need to be afraid of women in the workplace even if many are far better than you may be. Let the best woman win.

Explain how treating women equal is being afraid?. Silly comment.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Plus ça change

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Please note that I did NOT say nor insinuate that I agreed with Mori's comment, but rather that it's a matter of whether there is any freedom of speech, even politically incorrect speech.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Don't get it. He said when there are women at meetings, it takes more time. When one woman raises her hand to talk, other women also want to talk, it's their competitiveness.

What's wrong with that?

Nothing is wrong with it If you are a rational thinking person who treats everyone equal. 

However the problem arises as it's a criticism of women and in any form that is not allowed by lefties. We have to treat women differently than men, if you have the audacity to try to treat women equal to men (logistically try to organise time slots and give each person the same allotted time to talk) then you are a misogyinst dinosaur and must be removed.

“On reflection,’ Crake said to Frey, as they huddled behind an upturned table,

‘this wasn’t one of your better plans.”

―Chris Wooding,The Iron Jackal

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If only this absolute fossil had had sense enough not to talk so much.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As I said on another story a couple of days ago it's the overseas leftist media and usual twitter twits that have forced this issue through as it is an international issue. If it were a domestic issue we would been long over it with Mori still in position.

Since when has the Olympics been a solely domestic issue?

Which leftist media and usual twitter twits?

It can’t have been just one, so you have plenty to choose from to give some names. Just 2 or 3 to get us started; who had such international twitter influence to oust Mori?

Or was it all of them? A crazy leftist mob? Well that’s worse right? Such power....must be scary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is very important information missing in this article. Mori asked Kawabuchi to take over his position. That move met an outcry not only because Kawabuchi is older than Mori, not only because there is absolutely no right for a sexist person kicked out of a committee to pick his successor, but also because Kawabuchi put his foot in his mouth (or he might just be a complete idiot) and told reporters he was going to appoint Mori as a consultant for JOC after becoming the chairman. In this article, it looks like Mori stepped down quietly, but far from it! Using Kawabuchi as his puppet, Mori had been trying hard to stay on power till the very end!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's only been a week, but in some people's minds, Mori's comments already seem to have distorted from what he said to anodyne versions like "women talk a lot".

His actual comments, which were made voluntarily, included "when one of them speaks, the other ones all have to have a go simply out of rivalry. It ends up taking forever".

It should be obvious, but anyone in a meeting with Mori, male or female, is a highly ranking professional person. Even if you as a person know a woman or women who are a bit dim, who talk excessively and always out of pure rivalry with others, those members of the general public do not get to sit in meetings with Mori. The only women in meetings with Mori are Koike, Hashimoto, and other high-ups in government and sports associations. He is talking about them, not the local chatterbox who is always ringing my wife for an hour at a time about trivial PTA stuff.

Another myth on the go seems to be that Kawabuchi has decided taking against this job. It seems clear that Mori try to appoint him and he was fully up for it, but others immediately kicked up against him and his links to Mori. Any reluctance from Kawabuchi is new found and just to save face.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I just never understood why Mori stayed at the position for so long? He's gaffe prone sure. But really the man should have enjoying the beach for at last 20 years, instead he's really stepped in it this time. And his wife, who made the poinent comments to him : ' You've said something. embarrassing again; I'm going to have to suffer now' has to be the coldest thing I've ever heard; those comments keep me up at night.

All in all I think it's time for a much younger generation of olympic organizers to take over now; Now, Hashimoto is good, but I'm thinking Koji Alexander Murofushi would be the perfect fit. He could have an experienced team around him, and they could pull it off. He would have international appeal as well.

And finally, I actually respect Mori, for his decades of service, for good or bad, it's no easy task to accomplish what he did; a very difficult enterprise, especially with his vice of gaffe and/or falling asleep at government sessions ; he did bring the olympics to Japan, and God knows what else he accomplished in discreet international cooridors, boardrooms and backroom meetings to help create a better Japan.

And so, I forgive Mori for his comments even though many may never, or at least will always be perplexed by them.

In the end it's a cautionary tale; that there were consequences for such behavior and we should all pay very close attention; so I bid him farewell. I also wish his family well, it must be a very difficult time for them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Did Mori unilaterally pick his successor and then do a press release announcing Kawabuchi? I thought this was a done deal based on all the articles. It was picked up worldwide.

I think rather, Suga et al. signed off on it and only changed their minds do to the huge outcry. So, really it demonstrates a total lack of leadership in the upper ranks of the LDP. They have a death grip. Suga is no leader.

Invalid CSRF

4 ( +4 / -0 )

tsonlyrocknrollFeb. 12  07:43 pm JST

The political and social culture, if one wants to focus on women in business, has a role to play in identifying reform.

The question remains, is changing hearts and minds in a natural political process.

Of course this cultural acceptance of roles women contribute in society and business must represent more than an apology and Mori san resignation.

The resignation must go hand in hand with structural change and the attitude of 18 to 25 years old's willingness to contribute.

So thus to understanding the essential role students have to play for Japan political future.

The education system is lacking in every respect.

I went to my local high school, without going into detail, asked every student to turn off there phones.

Then I offered 100,000 yen to the student who could name there member of the diet.

Not one. [sic]

The details must be interesting, since it would be unusual for someone other than a teacher to be allowed in a high school class to do this, and you're obviously not a teacher.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

marcelito:

It's been reported in other media that in the end it was the outside " foreign" pressure that once again was the catalyst for change.

Yeap, gaiatsu to the rescue again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Public outcry about Mori's sexist comments particularly pressure coming from outside forced the 83 year old oyaji to resign. But when I heard that he was to be replaced with an 84 year old racist oyaji in the person of Kawabuchi who once denied that Auswitch never happened, I wondered what has become of Japan. A sexist oyaji out, a racist oyaji in. I publicly condmed that and called for a younger candidate preferably a woman who embodied the Olympic spirit and values. now Kawabuchi San has been forced out too. Down with oyajis control and stranglehold on power in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, Peter I have visited a number of Schools, Colleges, and Universities both in Kochi, and Nagoya to give overviews of my business technologies. Nothing unusual here.

We have also had students visit our operation in both location's.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Uh, huh. Right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a highway to nowhere.

Time to get off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peter, not one of the younger members of my family vote or show any interest in politics at all.

An aunt, teaches at a local high school arranged the event, as I once researched for a number of UK MP's. So the topic was focused in this area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Women talk too much in meetings" (?)

The end of a long public career accomplished by stepping into an unexpected cultural hole left behind by outside change, personal consistency, and the internal myopia of advanced age. 'Read the Room' is good advice, but 'Read the Cultural Changes' for an oyaji is difficult, and especially difficult when it's a 180° difference in attitude which MOST people consider LONG overdue, and YOUR job has always been to maintain the status quo, resist change. Change comes to you only through trauma at 83 in a life filled with essentially repetitive robotic behaviors. And, for a person used to power, head of the JOC is PASTURE and may seem like a place where less caution is necessary in one's pronouncements. Whatever. An older, more mature individual would perhaps be more appropriate so, of course, an 84 year old. Let's see what interesting things he may decide are safe to say...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to my wife (Japanese) he didn't actually apologize. He just said that he shouldn't have said those things. He didn't actually take responsibility for this actions. That bow seems like the "giri" apology. The kind where it's customary, but not genuine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chico3, a masterclass non apology, a begrudged retraction of sorts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The powerful internet has propagated the new norm. Mori said sorry and he should have just finished his job here. He must have accomplished a lot in the past. And to misstep once for saying what he did could cause him his job? That’s more cruel and hard hearted than what he said.

Remeber no one is perfect. He has been humiliated. Isn’t that enough?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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