A Footage of Opening Ceremony Director for Tokyo Olympics 2020, Kentaro Kobayashi, recently emerged in which he appears to be making jokes about the Holocaust in1998.
The recorded skit showed Kobayashi, who made his name as part of a popular comedy duo, joking about the Holocaust by playing a “let’s massacre Jewish people game.”
Kobayashi is a former member of a popular comedy duo Rahmens and known overseas for comedy series including “The Japanese Tradition.”
The international multi-sport event scheduled to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, with some preliminary events that begun on 21 July will still have the grand opening of Games despite the difficult situation and also people who are not feeling easy about it.
Japan’s Olympic chief Seiko Hashimoto said the video ridiculed “painful facts of history”.
“With the opening ceremony being so imminent, we apologise for causing concern to those involved in the Olympics, to the citizens of Tokyo and the Japanese public,” Ms Hashimoto said.
The Jewish human rights organisation Simon Wiesenthal Center released a statement condemning the jokes: “Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide … any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews.” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s associate dean, said.
Mr Kobayashi had been appointed as director for the opening and closing ceremonies after his predecessor, Hiroshi Sasaki.
The head creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Hiroshi, resigned in March over a controversy about inappropriate comments saying popular Japanese plus-sized female entertainer Naomi Watanabe, could wear pig ears at the opening ceremony.
Hiroshi said he had told a planning group through a group chat that Naomi Watanabe could play a role as an “Olympig”.