Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro resigns

Former Japanese premier steps aside as organisers ready for stretch run of preparation for Games.

By Shintaro Kano ·

Mori Yoshiro, President of the Organising Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, resigned with immediate effect on Friday (12 February).

"As of today, I am resigning from the presidency", Mori said during the opening remarks of an extraordinary meeting of the Tokyo 2020 executive board and council.

The Japanese former prime minister reiterated his apology over the recent comments he made regarding women, which the International Olympic Committee had made clear were "inappropriate" and not aligned to its commitment to gender equality.

"Unwillingly, I created confusion and trouble because of the inappropriate remarks I made. For that, I deeply apologise," Mori said.

"The most important thing is to make sure the Olympics go ahead in July and I cannot be in the way of that."

The former Japanese prime minister said he relayed his decision to IOC President Thomas Bach and John Coates, Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games.

Following the resignation, President Bach said in a statement, "The IOC fully respects President Mori’s decision to step down and understands his reasons for doing so.

"At the same time, we would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution to the organisation of the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 over the course of the past years.

"Among his many accomplishments, President Mori helped to make Tokyo the best-ever prepared Olympic city."

"The IOC will continue working hand-in-hand with his successor to deliver safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021.”

A successor was not immediately named, with the International Olympic Committee statement adding that, "The IOC has been informed and welcomes the fact that the Organising Committee will follow due process to determine the new President."

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons said in a statement, “In life, I’m a firm believer that out of all bad situations something good must come out of it.

"I sincerely hope that the domestic and international reaction over the last seven days can be harnessed so that society places greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, not just in terms of gender representation, but race, sexuality, and persons with disabilities.

"This world is a wonderful and diverse place and it is important we embrace inclusion to get the best out of each and every one of us to benefit society as a whole.”

Mori had presided over the organising committee since its inception in January 2014.

"This organising committee started in a room at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building with 44 members", he said.

"Today, there are more than 3,000 in various departments working hard to prepare for the Games.

"As long as I am alive, I hope to continue to give everything I can to further sport in Japan".

events

23 Jul - 8 Aug

Tokyo 2020 | Olympic Games

Japan