The director of the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been fired. The organizer later said the media reported that he had ridiculed the Nazi Holocaust earlier.
Hashimoto Seiko, chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, said in a briefing on Thursday that Kentaro Kobayashi had been fired for commenting on the tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust. Kentaro Kobayashi participated in comedy performances in the 1990s.
The International Organization of Jewish Rights Simon Wiesenthal Center issued an earlier statement condemning Kobayashi’s past actions.
The vice dean and director of global social action at the center, Rabiabraham Cooper, said: “Any connection between this person and the Tokyo Olympics is an insult to 6 million Jews and a cruel mockery of the Paralympics.”
Kentaro Kobayashi himself expressed regret over what he called a “stupid choice.”
This is the latest news in a series of embarrassing incidents by organizers in Tokyo, which have sparked anger at home and abroad. A few days ago, a famous musician was forced to resign as composer of the opening ceremony due to old reports of intimidation and abuse. Job title.
In February, Yoshiro Mori, who was the Japanese prime minister, was forced to resign for sexist reasons. A month later, Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative director of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, had to resign after making derogatory comments about a popular Japanese artist.
Abe does not attend the opening ceremony
At the same time, the Japanese Public Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) reported that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided not to attend the opening ceremony.
The Japanese government previously declared Tokyo a state of emergency and took anti-epidemic measures to minimize health risks to residents and tourists.
Thursday is a public holiday in Japan and the media were unable to immediately contact Abe’s office to confirm the news.
At the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics, Abe represented Japan with the image of a famous plumber in the video game “Super Mario” and played a huge role in attracting attention to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
At the time, Abe and his supporters expected the current Olympics to achieve the same effect as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, indicating that the country had regained its strength after decades of economic stagnation and marked the devastating effect of Japan from 2011. Recovered from Fukushima nuclear disasters and natural disasters.
On the contrary, the Olympics, which were postponed for a year due to the global pandemic, faced a series of scandals and setbacks.
Friday’s opening ceremony is usually an important milestone for the host country, but this opening ceremony will be a discreet event. According to Japanese media reports, there will be fewer than 950 participants, of whom only about 15 are world leaders.
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden is expected to land in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon to attend the ceremony, prompting speculation that she could seize the opportunity to discuss vaccine-related issues with the Japanese prime minister. , Yoshihide Suga.
Biden has been visiting all over the United States and has urged more people to get vaccinated.
In Japan, only a third of Japanese have received at least one dose of vaccine, which has raised public concern that the Olympics could become a widespread event.
Currently, dozens of athletes have tested positive in the new crown, some athletes have been forced to retire and teammates have been quarantined.
The number of confirmed cases in the capital has increased and is expected to increase, and health professionals will face enormous pressure.
In a recent poll conducted by Asahi Shimbun, 68% of respondents expressed doubts about the ability of Olympic organizers to control the spread of the new crown virus and 55% opposed the continued holding of the Olympics.
The Olympics have begun, the Japanese women’s softball team kicked off on Wednesday and Sweden defeated the United States in the women’s soccer match.
Learn more about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics