France, March 3 -- Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics made a gesture towards gender equality on Wednesday by increasing the number of women on the committee's executive board from seven to 19. This comes as a new poll reveals the eventis losingpublic support in light of the Covid pandemic.

To accommodate the new members, the board was expanded from 35 to 45.

Toshiro Muto, the committee's chief executive, announced the changes but it is understood Seiko Hashimoto, the new president, prompted the revamp.

She took over last month from 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori who was forced to resign after making condescending comments about women. During a meeting with officials from Japan's Olympic Committee he sniped that they talked too much.