Photo/Illutration Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori speaks at a May 2022 gathering in Tokyo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has made another sexist remark that will likely draw the ire of women running for office. 

Speaking at a Tokyo fund-raiser for an Upper House member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on March 23, Mori reflected on his last Lower House election in 2009 when he faced a female candidate from the Democratic Party of Japan.

“I hate running against a woman,” said Mori, now 85. “While I should not disparage women, their campaign tactics are just out of this world.”

That was the election when the DPJ rode voter discontent with the LDP to drive the party out of power and engineer a change in government that turned out to be short-lived.

Mori faced Mieko Tanaka, then 33, in the Ishikawa No. 2 single-seat district.

Tanaka had no political experience or direct ties to the local district, but she still came within about 4,000 votes of upsetting the former prime minister, who had won 13 terms until then.

Looking back on that election, Mori said, “I felt as though I had worked for the benefit of the nation and the local community, but to find out there were people willing to give almost the same number of votes as myself to such a woman made me lose trust in my own district.”

He added that the election made him decide to retire as a lawmaker even though he said he was still relatively young at the time.

“I really understand the difficulty of an election in which women are the enemy,” Mori said.

While Mori later became the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, he was forced to resign before the start of the Games when he said that female board members prolong meetings because they are competitive and talk too much.