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TOKYO – The president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has resigned his post after his recent comments about women sparked widespread criticism.

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According to The Associated Press, Yoshiro Mori, who previously served as Japan’s prime minister from 2000 to 2001, announced during an executive board and council meeting Friday that he is stepping down as head of the organizing committee for the games, which are scheduled to begin July 23.

“As of today, I will resign from the president’s position,” he said, adding that his “inappropriate comments have caused a lot of chaos.”

The move comes more than a week after Mori, 83, said women “talk too much” during board meetings and are competitive, the AP reported. The comments sparked backlash, prompting Mori to issue an apology; however, he initially declined to resign, according to the news agency.

Mori, who was named to the post in 2014, apologized again Friday and argued that he is supportive of women, Reuters reported.

“I have been trying to support women as much as possible, and I have been trying to support women more than men so they can speak,” he said, according to Reuters.

“There were times when people would not put their hands up and not speak up, and I would go out of my way to say … please speak.”

The board likely will name Mori’s replacement later Friday, according to the AP.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.