Tokyo 2020’s Opening Ceremony is “currently proceeding as planned,” according to a press statement from the Tokyo 2020 International Communications Team.
The statement says an investigation into the Opening Ceremony has been conducted following the dismissal of former show director Kentaro Kobayashi over anti-Semitic comments he made in the past.
According to the statement, multiple creators have contributed to the Ceremony, and “no single part of the Opening Ceremony was specifically directed solely by KOBAYASHI Kentaro himself.”
The Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET)
Some more background: Tokyo 2020’s Opening Ceremony show director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was dismissed Thursday following past comments that “ridiculed the painful facts of history,” according to Tokyo 2020 organizers.
Local media reports said Kobayashi made anti-Semitic comments in a 1998 comedy act about the Holocaust.
Kobayashi released a statement following his dismissal, saying he apologized “to anyone who may have felt unpleasant” by his former remarks.
“As it was pointed out, there were some inappropriate expressions in the scripts from my past skit,” he said.
“Indeed, as pointed out, in the video software that was released in 1998 to introduce young comedians, a skit script I wrote contained an extremely inappropriate expression.”
“I understand that my foolish choice of words at the time was a mistake, and I regret it,” Kobayashi continues, adding that he was grateful he was able to be involved in the ceremony.
On Monday, Tokyo Olympics opening and closing ceremonies music composer, Keigo Oyamada, decided to resign from his position following criticisms for past interviews that emerged where he described past bullying of classmates.