The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, will resign over his remark that sparked an outcry, two sources said on Thursday, while the former prime minister said he could not let the controversy drag on.
Mori’s resignation would be bound to raise new doubts over the viability of holding the postponed Games this year.
The sources, who have knowledge of the matter, said Mori would be replaced by former Japan Football Association president and mayor of the Olympic village, Saburo Kawabuchi, 84, Reuters reported.
Mori made the sexist remark - that women talk too much - at a Japanese Olympic Committee board meeting early this month, setting off a storm of criticism at home and abroad.
Mori, 83, told Nippon TV he would "explain his thoughts" at a meeting on Friday but he had to deal with the issue. He did not confirm the reports that he would step down.
"I cannot let this problem prolong any longer," Mori said, and he again apologised for the remark.
The 2020 Tokyo Games were postponed for a year because of the novel coronavirus and the pandemic is still creating huge questions about their viability, even though the government has said it is determined the July 23-Aug 8 Games go ahead.