First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Tokyo Olympics chief retracts sexist comments, refuses...



Tokyo Olympics chief retracts sexist comments, refuses to resign

A giant Olympic rings monument is seen at dusk at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan, 25 March 2020. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed on 24 March to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON
By Reuters
04 Feb 2021 1

TOKYO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori apologised on Thursday for sexist comments about women talking too much, but said he would not resign, as his remarks sparked a storm of criticism on social media and risked tainting public opinion of the Games.

* Tokyo Olympics head: “deep remorse” over comments

* When pressed, Mori says doesn’t listen to women

* Social media firestorm, calls for Mori’s resignation

* Critics say comments erode public trust in Games (Updates with IOC response)

By Sakura Murakami

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 hashtag “Mori, please resign” was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday and some users on the platform were calling on sponsors to pressure the Tokyo organising committee into dropping Mori from the top post.

Mori, whose term as prime minister was marked by a string of gaffes and blunders, made the comments at a Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) board of trustees meeting this week.

“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 its 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, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the comments should not have been made.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics board would have to decide on any resignation by Mori, Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Thursday, adding that Tokyo 2020 had sent an apology to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over Mori’s remarks.

Mori has apologised and the IOC considers the matter “closed,” a spokesperson at IOC said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Japan persistently trails its peers in promoting gender equality, ranking 121 out of 153 nations surveyed in the 2020 global gender gap report of the World Economic Forum.



Mori is becoming Tokyo’s latest liability in hosting the Olympics, critics say, complicating an event that has already been delayed once due to the global pandemic.

Nearly 80 percent of the Japanese public are opposed to holding the Summer Games as scheduled this year due to concerns about the coronavirus, recent polls show.

“It’s easy to see that his apology is a begrudging one that he had no choice but to make because he was under fire,” said public relations consultant Keiko Ishikawa. “I think everyone can see that his remorse isn’t apparent. It didn’t really look like an apology at all.”

Yoko Shida, a professor of constitutional law at Musashino Art University, said Mori’s comments ran counter to the ethos of the IOC and was unlikely to assuage public concerns about the Games.

“This would normally warrant a resignation,” Shida said.

Former judo champion Kaori Yamaguchi said the Olympic chief’s comments could further erode trust in the Tokyo Games.

“Given his position, it was quite unfortunate – and the fact that it was sent out to the world, it wasn’t just an individual point of view but suggested to the world that Japanese may still think this way,” she said ahead of Mori’s briefing on Thursday.

Ordinary Japanese said they were taken aback by Mori’s remarks.

“At the end of the day, you can see from those comments that it’s a man’s world,” Kyoko Kayashima, a 68-year old woman said. “I just thought it was disappointing.”

Renho, a prominent opposition lawmaker, said in a tweet that Mori’s remarks were “shameful”.

Nearing the end of the briefing, Mori cut off questions.

Asked whether he still considered himself qualified to run the Tokyo Olympics committee, Mori replied: “What do you think?” (Additional reporting by Ju-min Park, Elaine Lies, Chang-Ran Kim, Chris Gallagher, and Akira Tomoshige, Jack Tarrant Writing by Mari Saito Editing by Tom Hogue, Gerry Doyle, Michael Perry and Kim Coghill)


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 1

  • The degenerate insults women and the IOC says the matter is closed. It’s like Hitler saying he hates Jews and Blacks before the 1936 games, and then the world-body just says “oh dear” and carries on!!!
    Tell me that no women in either the Japanese Committee or the IOC resign by the weekend, and I’ll shut up.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted