Last week, Yoshiro Mori (83), a former Japan Prime Minister and head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, complained about the women on the committee. He said, "we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing." He resigned shortly thereafter, saying his remark was "inappropriate."
A few days later Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided it had better adopt a more progressive attitude than the Olympics committee, and therefore proposed a policy that would allow five women legislators to attend its all-man board meetings provided they don't speak.
Toshihiro Nikai, the 82-year-old secretary general of the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), told a news conference on Tuesday of the plan to bring a female perspective to the all-male board meetings.
He said he was aware of criticism of the male domination of the party's elected board and it was important that female members of the party "look" at the decision-making process, he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
"It is important to fully understand what kind of discussions are happening. Take a look, is what it is about," he said.
Japanese media reported that the five women would be allowed to sit-in as observers on decision-making board meetings but would not be allowed to speak. They could submit their opinions to the secretariat office afterward.