Olympics opening ceremony director steps down over past comments on Holocaust

22/07/2021 01:57 PM

TOKYO, July 22 -- Kentaro Kobayashi, the director of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has been dismissed from his role after his past comments on the Holocaust resurfaced online, Xinhua reported.

The move was made by Tokyo 2020 organisers just one day ahead of the Games opening ceremony scheduled for Friday night.

"We deeply apologise for any inconvenience brought to relevant stakeholders, Tokyo and Japanese people, as this incident took place prior to the opening ceremony," read a statement from Tokyo Games organisers.

Kobayashi was found to have made a joke of the Holocaust in a comedy skit in 1998. As for corresponding adjustments toward the opening ceremony following Kobayashi's dismissal, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a press conference here on Thursday, "How we're going to handle the ceremony is currently being discussed."