Tokyo Games official resigns over sexist remark

In the latest controversy to plague the Tokyo Olympics, the Games' creative head Hiroshi Sasaki has resigned after calling popular female entertainer Naomi Watanabe a quote "Olympig."

Sasaki said he told a planning group chat that Watanabe, a plus-size comedian and fashion icon in Japan, could play a role in the opening ceremony of an "Olympig" and suggested she wear pig ears.

In a statement on Thursday, Sasaki apologized to Watanabe for his comments, and acknowledged a quote "very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks."

In a statement posted by her agency, Watanabe said she was surprised by Sasaki's comments, adding that quote, "In fact, I am happy with this body shape."

Sasaki had told Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto late on Wednesday evening that he was stepping down, shortly after local media reported his remarks earlier in the day, sending shockwaves through Japan.

Hashimoto said at a news conference Thursday she was "shocked" by the comments and accepted Sasaki's resignation.

"When I became Tokyo 2020 president I made gender equality one of our key initiatives for restoring the trust of the people.This kind of thing should never have happened."

Hashimoto replaced Yoshiro Mori, who himself resigned last month after causing a furor with his own sexist remarks that women talk too much.

Hashimoto said she will find a replacement for Sasaki to avoid affecting preparations for the Olympics, which are scheduled to start on July 23.