In February, Organizing Committee Chairman Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign after he made gender-biased comments, saying that women talk a lot at meetings.
Two years ago, Japan’s Olympic Committee President Tsonikazu Takeda was forced to step down in a bribery scandal linked to the vote buying of IOC members.
Sasaki was responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, which will begin on July 23. Last year, members of the planning team told that well-known actress Naomi Watanabe could perform at the gala as “Olympique”.
Watanabe is a woman with a heavy set and very famous in Japan, and “Olympique” was a play on the word “Olympic”.
Sasaki released a statement early Thursday saying he would step down. He said he had also contacted Saiko Hashimoto, chair of the organizing committee, and submitted his resignation.
“For Ms. Naomi Watanabe, my idea and comments are a great insult. It is unforgivable,” Sasaki said.
“It is really unfortunate and I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” he added.
Hashimoto, who replaced Mori, was due to speak later on Thursday.
Sasaki previously worked for the Japanese advertising giant, Dentsu Inc. , Which has been a major supporter of these Olympic Games. It is the official marketing partner and helped achieve a record $ 3.5 billion in domestic sponsorship, nearly three times that of any previous Olympics.
The Olympic torch relay kicks off next week from northeastern Japan, and it will be a tough test as 10,000 runners pass Japan for four months, heading to the opening ceremony and trying to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Organizers and the International Olympic Committee insist the Olympics will advance through the pandemic, with 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 disabled athletes entering Japan. Tokyo’s official costs are $ 15.4 billion, but several government reviews show the true cost could be twice that amount.
An Oxford University study says Tokyo is the most expensive Olympics ever recorded.
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