TOKYO—Japan’s Olympic chief plans to resign after making derogatory remarks about women, a person close to him said, creating an unusual and disruptive leadership transition less than six months before the Games are scheduled to begin in Tokyo.
Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister and president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, said at an event on Feb. 3 that meetings with women tend to drag on because they talk too much. A day later, he apologized and retracted the remarks but said he wouldn’t step down.
Since then, a backlash, including criticism from the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese public, corporate sponsors and sports figures, has hit Mr. Mori hard and made him reconsider his position, the person close to him said.
Mr. Mori, who couldn’t be reached for comment, may announce his resignation at a meeting of the organizing committee’s executive board on Friday, called specifically to discuss his comments. A spokesman for the committee declined to comment. Several Japanese media organizations reported on Thursday that Mr. Mori had told the government of his intention to resign.
Mr. Mori’s successor is likely to be Saburo Kawabuchi, an 84-year-old former head of the Japan Football Association, according to the person familiar with the matter.