Please address Chairman Mori's remark and take measures to not tolerate such behaviors

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Yoshiro Mori, 83, Chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and former prime minister, said on February 3rd during an executive board meeting of the Japan Olympic Committee, according to Asahi Shimbun, that “women have a strong sense of rivalry. If one (female) member raises her hand to speak, all the others feel the need to speak too. Everyone ends up saying something.”

“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,” Mori said.

These statements are unacceptable, not only because they are prejudiced, narrow-minded and discriminatory, they go against the responsibility of all countries—not just Japan—to pursue and protect gender equality.

As such, we demand the following:

1. To properly address Chairman Mori’s recent behavior
 To refer to the women on the executive board as a single entity, and in such a way, is by definition an act of prejudice. His statements will likely influence or intimidate other women in similar positions, and they surely contradict the principles of Olympism which state that the “rights and freedoms set forth in the Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Although Chairman Mori has apologized and taken back his words, he seems to not understand nor is he trying to understand why his remarks were “discriminatory”, and we believe that a person with such prejudice is not suited to continue their job as a chairman. We ask the three organizations that agreed upon his chairmanship (The  Japanese Olympic Committee, The Government of Tokyo and the Japanese Government) and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee to properly address Chairman Mori’s behavior, and to take necessary measures regarding his continuity. 

2.      Prevention measures
In order to prevent a repeat of events like this, we call on the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards gender discrimination as a first step in a larger commitment to become a more inclusive organization.

3.      Gender representation
We demand that women represent 40 percent of members on all executive board committees under the purview of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. Additionally, the organizing committee should strive to achieve greater diversity among its management.