Controversial comments about women by the head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee on Wednesday triggered criticism on social media, with some calling for him to step down, The New York Times reported.

Yoshiro Mori, who suggested in an online meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee that women talk too much in meetings, "stoked a social media backlash," and on Twitter "users quickly began calling for Mori to resign," the U.S. daily said on its online edition.

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, speaks during an event in Tokyo on Jan. 12, 2021. (Kyodo)

Others on social media suggested the former Japanese prime minister's age, and his outdated attitude, were the real problem, it added.

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of JOC councilors, the 83-year-old cited his experience as a former president of the Japan Rugby Football Union, saying, "Women have a strong sense of rivalry. If one (female) member raises her hand to speak, all the others feel the need to speak too. Everyone ends up saying something."

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The JOC has set a goal of increasing the number of women on its board of directors to 40 percent. Women currently comprise only 20 percent of the board.

"Somebody told me that if we increase the number of women (on the board), we have to also restrict their speaking time to an extent. Otherwise they'll never stop, which is problematic," Mori said.