A JAPANESE politician has been forced to apologise after he reportedly claimed women talk too much in meetings.
Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister and president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, apologised after his comments claiming women talk too much in meetings were leaked to Japanese media.
Mori made the comments at an Olympics board of trustees event when he was asked about the Japan Olympic Committee’s goal of increasing the number of women on its board of directors from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
In response, Mori said he was concerned about how that would affect the length of meetings.
He is reported to have said: “Board meetings with lots of women take longer” as “women are competitive — if one member raises their hand to speak, others might think they need to talk too.”
He added: “If you want to increase female membership, you would be in trouble unless you put time limits in place.”
The 83-year-old politician has since apologised for the comments.
He said: “I recognize my comment yesterday was an inappropriate expression and went against the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics. I profoundly regret it.
“I’d like to withdraw my comment and apologize to the people whom I made to feel unpleasant.”
The comment has sparked debate in Japan where the country’s pay gap is, “by far the largest among all advanced economies,” according to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report.
The report found women in Japan only make up 5.3 per cent of board members on listed companies and only 10 per cent of parliamentarians, one of the lowest figures in the world.
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