Tokyo Olympics official fired over 1998 Holocaust joke

Tokyo Olympics official fired over 1998 Holocaust joke
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The opening ceremony director for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has been fired a day before the ceremony over a holocaust joke he made 23 years ago.

Kentaro Kobayashi, 48, reportedly made the joke during a comedy sketch in 1998, which included the phrase, "Let's play Holocaust." His dismissal was announced by organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto, who "deeply" apologized for the development.

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"We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country," Hashimoto said, according to the Associated Press.

The Olympic Games were awarded to Tokyo in 2013, and the city has since dealt with a series of scandals and problems leading up to the Games, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening ceremonies saw another resignation this week when Keigo Oyamada, a composer working on music for the ceremony, resigned Monday after it was revealed that he bullied a disabled classmate in his childhood, tormenting him from middle school through high school. Japanese automaker company Toyota has also pulled $1 billion worth of Olympics-related advertising in the lead-up to the games. Additionally, alleged bribery and corruption is being looked into by French investigators, which led to the 2019 resignation of the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda.

Cases of the coronavirus have continued to rise in Japan, prompting the country to declare a COVID-19 state of emergency earlier this month. As a result, fans will not be able to attend any competitions or ceremonies. Several Olympians have also tested positive for COVID-19, including a U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team alternate member, 17-year-old tennis player Coco Gauff, and NBA star Bradley Beal.

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The Olympic Games are set to open on July 23 and will run through Aug. 8.

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Tags: News, 2020 Olympics, Japan, Holocaust

Original Author: Noah Adamitis

Original Location: Tokyo Olympics official fired over 1998 Holocaust joke

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