Letter From Tokyo

One step forward, two steps back for gender equality in Japan

Japan has a chronic history of sexist gaffes, but these should not obscure recent victories

A 2019 file photo showing comedienne Naomi Watanabe and BMX rider Rimu Nakamura at an event in Tokyo to promote the application process for tickets to the Olympic Games. Recently, Tokyo Games creative director Hiroshi Sasaki quit after suggesting Ms Watanabe perform as an “Olympig”. PHOTO: REUTERS

From "women talk too much at meetings" to "Olympig", two men who were in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games apparently do not know any better.

But what takes the cake for the most sexist recent comment - said an online poll held from Feb 26 to March 5 - was one by a woman.

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