Olympics Opening ceremony director fired a day before the event: What you need to know
The Tokyo Olympics have not even started yet, its difficulties are not coming to an end. On a day before the start of the Tokyo Games, organizers fired the director of the opening ceremony over comments he made about the Holocaust.
The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said Kentaro Kobayashi, who is listed as a show director for the Games' opening event, was fired after a joke he made about the Holocaust as part of his comedy act in 1998 resurfaced in domestic media.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and global social action director of the Centre said,' Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews and make a cruel mockery of the Paralympics'.
Mr Kobayashi also responded to his dismissal and regretted his act.
The news is the latest in a series of distress for Tokyo organizers and comes just days after a musician was forced to step down as a composer after it emerged he had bullied his classmates with disabilities at school.
Instead, the Games, delayed a year because of the global pandemic, has faced a series of setbacks including the resignation of Yoshiro Mori, the former head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, after making sexist remarks. Further, it was soon followed by the resignation of Tokyo Olympic creative Head Hiroshi Sasaki after he made disparaging comments about a popular Japanese female entertainer.
The opening ceremony to be held on Friday is set to be a subdued affair with only less than 950 people-including only around 15 global leaders- to attend.
First lady Jill Biden is expected to land in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon for the Games' opening ceremony.