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60% say Mori unfit to serve as Tokyo Olympics chief: Japan poll

Almost 60 percent of respondents believe Yoshiro Mori is no longer fit to serve as Tokyo 2020 chief, a major Japanese poll found Sunday, after the former prime minister sparked outrage over sexist remarks.

Mori has apologised for comments last week in which he claimed that women speak too much in meetings, and the International Olympic Committee has said it now considers the matter closed.

But in a two-day nationwide survey of over a thousand people by Kyodo news agency, 59.9 percent of respondents said they did not think the 83-year-old former prime minister was fit to serve as head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Only 6.8 percent said he should stay in the role, while the agency did not say how the remaining 33.3 percent answered. 

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Friday said she was left “speechless” by Mori’s remarks, while Japan Olympic Committee chief Yasuhiro Yamashita said the comments were inappropriate, but did not call on him to resign.

On Saturday, Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka slammed the remarks as “ignorant”.

An online campaign calling for action against Mori has attracted more than 128,300 signatures, including from Grammy-winning musician Ryuichi Sakamoto.

The row is the latest headache for organisers already battling public disquiet about the virus-postponed Games. 

Almost half of respondents in Sunday’s poll backed a further postponement, with 35.2 percent supported cancelling the games altogether. 

Just 14.5 percent said the event should go ahead as planned.

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