Tokyo 2020 leaders reject notion of old boys club


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'“Can you come to Japan and speak Japanese,” he asked a reporter, visibly annoyed by the questions on age and language.'

Sorry, Mori, but English is the international language, and the Games are meant to be just that -- international. Whether or not YOU can speak Japanese you cannot expect everyone coming here to do so for the Old Boys' sake, and it IS an Old Boys' club.

28 ( +33 / -5 )

I remember when the oafish Mori was prime minister. In a photo op at an IT fair, he pointed at a laptop and asked, "Can you watch TV on that?" LOL.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

“If I should make a huge mistake by speaking English incorrectly, it could lead to problems,”

Couldn't be worse than the problems that arise when most politicians speak in Japanese.

Many compliment me on my lack of (English-speaking) capacity

Sounds like foreigners who are ecstatic they've been complimented on saying konnichiwa. "Mr Mori, you are amazing for being so uneducated!" His sycophantic supporters would compliment him if he farted in their faces.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

“I was in second grade when the war (World War Two) ended and until then, English was considered the enemy’s language,” Mori said.

That's a damned fool of a statement to make and is a joke of an excuse. He uses the word "until" himself, which means nearly 70 years have elapsed - lots of time to hit the eikaiwa, old boy. Actually, I can understand these guys not having learned English but it's still a stupid thing to say.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Mori said the absence of the women would be rectified ". - of course, it would be unthinkable if they had to make and serve the tea and coffee on their own.

"Can you come to Japan and speak Japanese" - " no comment needed " gem of a reply from a head of the Olympic organizing committee to make.

" I was in a second grade when WW2 ended and until then English was the enemy,s language " - of course there was no chance to learn any English in the following 7 decades, and anyway it would take too much time away from playing golf.. Enemies - funny how many Russians and Germans can speak English.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He used to goof when he spoke in English, In 1945, Japan mandated every schools in 7th grade and up English for 5 hours a week. So, since that time, graduating Waseda, he learned English, Of cxause we had to learn by text books. Well, It is not his poor English, it is his goofy attitude. There were many occasions he goofed. But I will write one with Clinton. ''One unsubstantiated story concerned the 26th G8 summit in 2000, at which upon meeting U.S. President Bill Clinton,

Mori was to say "How are you". Instead, he allegedly slipped up and said "Who are you;" Clinton answered "Well, I'm Hillary Clinton's husband", to which Mori replied "Me too".It was reported fabrication, just like other his jokes, but check Wikipedia with Yoshiro Mori PM JAPAN. He likes to tell his jokes in English conversations whenever he has a chance. At funerals when people were moaning, too.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Just to be clear, when Mori speaks in ANY language it's a huge problem as his press conference made plain.

As for the old boys image...... All old, All men. I guess sometimes stereotypes really are accurate.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Mori is a walking foot-in-mouth disease.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mori's attitude toward English reflects the attitude of many Japanese. When students are met with this, it is no wonder that motivation is low.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If I should make a huge mistake by speaking English incorrectly, it could lead to problems,” said Mori, who is head of Japan’s rugby union association

Mistake is not speaking English. No one cars if you fnoe a few words. At least you'll have an excuse, unlike when you say stupid shee-at in your own language.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I recall he once spoke English to President Clinton, went something like;

Mori: Who are you? Clinton: Ah...I'm Hillary's husband Mori: I'm fine thank you

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"If I should make a huge mistake by speaking English incorrectly, it could lead to problems,”

This is pretty much the reason why there are so few Japanese who speak anything above pidgin English. I don't think anyone ever taught this guy that TRYING is what counts AND what makes you better.

And being complimented for a LACK of a skill is really, really bad. "I can't do maths" would not ever be considered worthy of praise...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When Mori spoke in Japanese, he lost supporters rapidly. It was not language problem. Also he has etiquette problems everywhere, People thought he was practicing to be a third rated comedian when he was PM.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He was a front row forward when he played rugby, c'mon guys we all know the rugby forwards are not that sharp, just cannot have all that brawn and the brain too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"I was in second grade when the war ended and until then, English was considered the enemy's language," Mori said. "If I should make a huge mistake by speaking English incorrectly, it could lead to problems."

Whoops, too late.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

By the time he entered to 7th grade, Japanese compulsive school systems were 3 years Jr Hi and 3 years Sr Hi. 5 & 1.2 days a week. Eigo, we called. After that, when we apply for college or University, entrance exam included Eigo (English). Waseda U he went, After War, English was not an enemy language, Excuse excuse by Mori.

Japanese Govt should appoint sport persons and replace current people who approve Mori's behavior.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tokyo 2020 President Mori, speaking in Japanese, told reporters.

During the opening and closing Olympic ceremony, Mori needs to be alert, fresh and strong for many hours. The whole world is watching him.

If ceremony goes something wrong because of Mori, it will be embarrassment for Japan and Abe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mori said the absence of the women would be rectified ". - of course, it would be unthinkable if they had to make and serve the tea and coffee on their own.

Spot on.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“Many compliment me on my lack of (English-speaking) capacity,” said the former politician.

What a coincidence, I get complimented for not being able to do things all the time! Just the other day Shinzo Abe was explaining how I am a wonderful example of a person who can't ride a unicycle, and he hopes that I can be an inspiration to every other second class citizen in the country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Between this article and the Tokyo election it seems that no matter what happens elsewhere on planet, Japan just doesnt EVER change. I thought three years ago that the disaster would bring (gasp) new thinking, more young people and women in politics and as leaders that Japan desperately needs -

Seriously, Mori head of the Olympics committee??? I can imagine them thinking in their all-male boardroom somewhere, let s just stick with old, xenophobic and male Yes, of course - its the safest course of action. Also no suspicious English speakers either! They may be siding with the enemy (of 70 years ago)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

76 is not old in Japan!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

How buttock-clenchingly embarrassing.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"76 is not old in Japan" - lol , too right...thats still spring chicken age in amakudari language.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Welcome to the Oyaji Olympics, and all that implies

6 ( +7 / -1 )

old men, old ideas, same old outcomes. Japanese youth wake up and get amongst it otherwise you will forever be the same.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

... but this is Japan - a country built on old-boy crony-ism!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Young people meh, females meh, they'll surely taint the image of beautiful imperial Japan, no! This olympic will be our final bang before we go out to the woods and die.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeah ! "Discover Tomorrow " by then all of them might be gone... Where is all the young energetic future generation of Japan ? Show your face and let the world know what is " DISCOVER TOMORROW "

1 ( +2 / -1 )

*Edit headline

Tokyo 2020 old boys reject notion of old boys club

4 ( +5 / -1 )

None of these guys have any sport training, are all over 60, no woman and they don't call it an old boys club?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Couldn't be worse than the problems that arise when most politicians speak in Japanese.


3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Can you come to Japan and speak Japanese,” he asked a reporter, visibly annoyed by the questions on age and language.

Fair enough comment. Reporters have a nasty habit of quoting perfectly when someone misspeaks and omitting any explanation or clarification. This is fair enough when someone is speaking their first language, but not fair when someone is speaking their second, third, etc. language. Reporters should at least come with a translator or a dictaphone to record responses for later translation.

... and there's also the hugely arrogant assumption that everyone will speak English well enough to understand and answer tricky questions on non-routine subjects. My Japanese is pretty good, but I wouldn't trust it to talk to the press about anything serious.

“Many compliment me on my lack of (English-speaking) capacity,” said the former politician.

... but this is where I lose sympathy for him and all Japanese politicians. One doesn't complement ignorance. Ignorance is an unfortunate state to be fixed as soon as possible if at all reasonable. I'd love to speak another 4 or 5 languages, and I make an effort to pick up a few words every time I speak to someone who speaks those languages. Likewise if I don't know about something I look it up.

A political establishment that praises ignorance is exactly the opposite of what any country needs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sure.. they are going to put some "young people" and women on the board.

Read "young" as to be no younger than 45. Read "women" as in three people maximum.

And read "board" as, we will do what we the old grumpy rusty, festering Japanese politicians and our money giving Companies what us to do. And what ever these "young" and women come up to.. it better be only with a cup of coffee and a "yes sir".

2 ( +4 / -1 )

What I want to know is who is going to take responsibility for appointing the gaffe-prone Mori to a position of responsibility when he has to resign due to opening his big mouth? Will Abe take responsibility and resign, or will the appointment of a known idiot be blamed on someone else?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“Can you come to Japan and speak Japanese,” I really don't understand this, what is his point? If he really expects millions of tourists to study Japanese just to be able to communicate for a couple of weeks in 2020 he is very deluded. I hope these men aren't using the Olympics to make some kind of cultural language point. Japan will need an army of foreign speakers on hand. I'm sure they know this and when 2020 comes they'll be in good shape. They could do worse than recruiting some of the people that organised the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which generally went very smoothly. Oh, and 'DISCOVER TOMORROW' ?? Which tshirt do you get that phrase from? Just a meaningless soundbite thought up by some blowhard in a plastic office.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Scrote: Since this is Tokyo Olympic 2020, I think Tokyo Govt will take responsibility to replace old boys with young former Olympic Champs or medal winners.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Mori was one of the worst Prime Ministers ever, now that is a big achievement. What skills does he have to act in this capacity? NONE. Japanese cronyism at its worst.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, the 2020 Olympics won't likely be noticed by me. July 2020 will be unbarably humid. They will only be shown on NHK Satellite TV and I still won't be owning a TV in 2020. I am more interested in September 2020 after all the festivities have ended, the Paralympics are finished and the "real foreigners" are gone and once again, Japan is left only with those of us who are here long term despite the heavy snows, territorial disputes, the nuclear problems, the earthquakes, the tsunamis and the recurring theme of a volcano that could erupt tomorrow, next year, July 2020, or in another 300 years. We will be here long after the OBs.

New T-shirt: "Wake up Today!"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mr. Mori is correct. People coming to Tokyo in 2020 should have a basic grasp of Japanese. Afterall, they have six years to learn some words and phrases. It will make their time a lot easier over there.


-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Mr. Mori is wanna-be politician with no diplomatic mannerisms. He is a joke to society. He will be laugh at when 2020 games hit the charts. I do agree on one thing, if people want to get around faster, basic Japanese is a plus. But, Japan has the obligation to train, retrain and maintain English at all levels before and during the 2020 Olympic games.

Get with it, Japan...or this will be one experience with English you might regret for future years!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yoshiro Mori! Does anyone else remember this fool's "English conversation" with then-US President Bill Clinton back in 2000? He decided, rather than actually learn any meaningful communication skills, to simply memorize a patterned English conversation to spout off when the two met.

He tried to memorize the simple phrases, "How are you?" and when Bill made a response, the follow-up, "Me, too." Pretty simple to do, right?

No. This imbecile was so culturally inept that when he actually met the president, he botched the task and instead asked Mr. Clinton, "WHO are you?" Bill, somewhat surprised, tried to turn this faux-pas into an easy joke, and so answered Mori's strange question thus: "I'm Hillary's husband!"

To which Mori, never the brightest bulb in the box, remembered his next line and responded, "Me, too!"

Yeah right, with international language skills like this from a Prime Minister of Japan, what could possibly go wrong on the streets of "Internationally-minded Tokyo??"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

76 is the new 76 in Japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is the dimwit who as PM refused to stop his golf round when the Ehime-Maru tragedy happened. As for his involvement in sport, his biggest claim to fame is that he played university rugby, a very long time ago.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When will Japanese learn the damage they do to themselves & their country with buffoons like mori, the guy was a disaster as PM & the fact that he continues to pop up in public life over the last 15years or so is a real embarrassment!

And how on earth he ends up involved with the Olympics.............

Why on earth cant Japan put these type of people out of the lime light & leave them on the fringes but NO we them as PM, heads of NHK, Olympics etc etc its nuts!!! Japan just keeps doing itself in with this crap!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Everything he says sounds like an excuse for not wanting to speak English and excuse here and excuse their, excuses for the old boys club. Despite the fact that there might be a woman or women on the committee later on or younger people their opinions probably will not be heard and will not be taken seriously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

76 is not old in Japan! it not the age, its more the mindset. these old school thinkers should have no place on a modern youthful 2020 Olympics board. its this same mindset of trying to hold onto the past is what is holding Japan back from becoming a modern international country. ENGLISH is the international lanuage, even the French who hate this fact know that speaking english is important if you want to travel/business with different countries

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The truth hurts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mori was and still is a complete buffoon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even sadder is the fact that no one realized that there were no women on the board until it was brought to their attention. Old Boys Club for sure! Agree with most comments on Mori, not too bright.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they look at Japanese former Olympic medalians, How about Seiko Hashimoto who has been working for 2014 Olympics? Footbaall's Saburo Kawaguchi?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

English is the language of the enemy? Wow, Japan cannot get over its past. People still stuck in World War II and Imperialism. Pathetic.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@SIR: He is talking about during WW II. read his comment if you can read English better than Mori.

“I was in second grade when the war (World War Two) ended and until then, English was considered the enemy’s language,” Mori said.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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