Eminent Olympic medalists, Japanese sports professionals and local volunteers have lined up to condemn the sexist remarks made by Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori, who is also former prime minister of Japan. They have expressed frustration and disappointment over his remarks.
Mori triggered an uproar on Wednesday saying women "have difficulty" speaking concisely, then dug into a deeper pit a day later when he said, "I don't speak to women much" at a press conference called to make his apology.
The 83-year-old former prime minister's remarks and reluctance to resign as president of the 2020 Tokyo Coronavirus Olympic games attracted widespread contempt, even from top athletes.
Satomi Suzuki, a swimmer who won two silver and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, after a race on Thursday said that, "In a nutshell, it was very disappointing". She further added that the remarks made her angry.
Mori's comments also upset athletes outside Japan, with former Canadian ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser -- a six-time Olympian and a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission -- among those taking aim.
Tokyo Olympics chief's remarks have been condemned from athletes all over the world. Hayley Wickenheiser, a six time Olympian and a member of the Olympics Committee Athletes' Commission, tweeted saying, "Definitely going to corner this guy at the breakfast buffet," she tweeted. "See ya in Tokyo!! #oldboysclub".
Volunteers hoping to be a part of the tournament this summer are also up in arms and have reported to the Tokyo City Government regarding moral degradation, according to local media sources.
A 54-year-old volunteer said that, "it just feels like he's passing the buck and not taking responsibility." He also added that he was considering to quit, as reported by The Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper.
Mori started his press conference on Thursday by apologising and saying that he wished to withdraw his comments, but then he became defensive when challenged, insisting that he had heard complaints that women spoke at length.
His remarks are the latest headache for authorities already dealing with public anxiety about the Games, with polls that show over 80% of Japanese opposing to hold the event this summer.
The former PM, who has previously made controversial remarks, made rounds earlier this week after he said that, the Games would go ahead this summer "however the coronavirus pandemic evolves."
He is also the former president of the Japan Rugby Football Union, and JRFU board member Yuko Inazawa told Asahi Shimbun on Friday that she believed his remarks were directed at her.
"When Mr. Mori was president of JRFU, I was the only female board member," she was quoted as saying. She further added, "I wasn't aware he felt my opinions were a nuisance. I'm surprised by his latest comments."