See how a commentary on the Holocaust took the director of the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony; Organizing Committee chairman speaks of ’embarrassment for the Japanese people’
O Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee reported on Thursday, 22, that the director of the opening ceremony of Tokyo-2020 resigned on the eve of the event, scheduled for this Friday, at 20:00 (local) or 8:00 (GMT). The reason for the departure of Kentaro Kobayashi was an article in the Japanese periodical “Mainichi Shimbun”, which brought to light old comments of the professional making jokes about the Holocaust – mass murder of about six million Jews during World War II. In one of them, dated 1998, he said “let’s play Holocaust,” causing the Jewish community to anger.
“Kobayashi said that in the past he did things that were not appropriate at the time. In his resignation, he said: ‘In fact when I look at this situation I understand that it has not made many people laugh and made fun of historical facts. Today, I know I must apologize, many people felt uncomfortable.’ He resigned, and we accepted that request. We were unable to investigate the entire background of the people involved in the Games. The ultimate responsibility rests with me. We don’t want any embarrassment for the Japanese people,” he said. Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Organizing Committee.
“I understand my responsibility, there have been a series of scandals and I take responsibility. Tomorrow we will have the opening ceremony and I will have to assume my responsibility until the end, so as not to let people down. I would like people to understand the importance of hosting the Games. But I understand people who don’t even want to attend the opening ceremony. We will take all necessary measures and we count on everyone’s understanding. We will do our best to resolve this inconvenience”, added the Japanese woman, who has recently had to deal with a scandal involving composer Keigo Oyamada, whose music was to be used in the ceremony. He was forced to resign for bullying people with disabilities when he was a student. In interviews, he bragged about the intimidations he provoked in his colleagues.