Following statements about Holocaust, games opening ceremony director is fired

Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies director has been fired. Japanese Kentaro Kubayashi should have managed the opening ceremony on Friday. However, he was discredited for past comments about the Holocaust.

Japan’s organizing committee chairman Seiko Hashimmoto stated that Kobayashi should leave “because he was laughing about a tragedy”. These would be statements the Japanese made in 1998 but which were recently reported in national media.

International Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, referred to any association of Kobayashi with the Tokyo Olympics as an “affront to six million Jews’ memory.” The spectacle of the opening ceremony is not yet known due to Kobayashi’s resignation.

This is another setback for the organizers. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, it was also revealed that Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese Prime Minister, will not attend the opening ceremony. International spectators are now not permitted to watch the Olympic Games because of the corona pandemic.

The opening ceremony is a spectacular and grand affair. It culminates in the parade of participating countries led by flag bearers. In Rio 2016, 12,600 officials and athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium. Tokyo will have a much lower number.

The corona virus causes many athletes to not arrive in Tokyo before the opening. A flag parade with far fewer participants will be possible if athletes adhere to the rule of keeping as close to each other as possible.

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