Mori, a former prime minister, had initially apologized but refused to step down. This drew criticism from sponsors, pundits, and led to an online petition that drew more than 150,000 signatures. 

 “The (Mori) comment is different from our values, and we find it regrettable,” said Toyota Motor Corp President Akide Toyoda. Toyota, a major sponsor for the International Olympic Committee, seldom speaks out on political issues. 



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