Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori last week fell on his sword as the Head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee after his misogynistic words uttered earlier this month. Referring to his time as the president of the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) he said, “Women have a strong sense of rivalry. If one (female) raises her hand to speak, all the others feel the need to speak too”. Some of the automatic translation of what he said was eye-opening, to say the least (see below). Ironically, at the time he was in the top job at the JRFU there was only one female committee member.
As part of the powerful Hosokawa faction in the leading Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan, Mori still wields power. He’s used to getting his way and this is the reason why several weeks passed since the comments were made before he resigned from the Olympic committee. Normally business as usual would have prevailed, with the ‘old boys club’ allowed to go on their way. However, it is believed that the president of Toyota Motor Corp. Akio Toyoda, one of the major sponsors of the Olympics paying about US$1 billion every four years, may have been the strongest catalyst to his resignation. Toyoda said, “The (Mori) comments are different from our values, and we find it regrettable”.