Sexist comments made by Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori this week have caused a “major issue” for the global sporting event, the city's governor Yuriko Koike said on Friday (February 5).
The 83-year-old set off a storm on social media by saying that women talked too much.
He later retracted the comments and apologized but refused to resign, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it considered the issue closed.
Tokyo’s governor said she was struck speechless by the comments, adding she'd heard the Tokyo government was fielding complaint calls from city residents.
Student activist Momoko Nojo says Mori’s apology is not enough.
She launched a petition calling for further action in addressing the comment. By Friday night it had gained over 85,000 signatures.
"I think Tokyo 2020 should think about taking action against Mori and discuss this issue so it will never happen again. I think it will have a big influence on other organizations (if they take action)."
Nojo hopes this will be a catalyst for change in a society which she believes is still male-dominated.
The sentiment is echoed by Tammy Parlour, the Chief Executive of the Women’s Sports Trust.
"The fact that it's actually getting called out now is really positive in my view and it provides us an opportunity to talk about this. But at the same time, I think it's important to not just focus on the comments, I see the comments as a symptom, and the cause is not having enough diversity and inclusion plumbed across the whole system. We need to as an industry look at that and start changing that."