Hiroshi Sasaki, a Tokyo Olympics creative head resigns over derogatory remark

Tokyo Olympics creative head Hiroshi Sasaki said he has resigned in the wake of offering a derogatory comment about a famous female Japanese entertainer, in the most recent debate over insensitive remarks towards ladies to hit Games organizers.

Sasaki, who was the head imaginative chief for the opening and shutting services at the current year’s Games, said he had told an arranging bunch through a group chat that Naomi Watanabe could play a role as an “Olympig.”

“There was a very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks,” Sasaki said in a statement issued through Games organizers in the early hours of Thursday. “I sincerely apologize to her and people who have felt discomfort with such contents.”

Sasaki said he had disclosed to Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto late on Wednesday evening that he was stepping down.

Hashimoto and Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto plan to address the matter at a news conference on Thursday, organizers said.

Sasaki’s resignation came swiftly after week by week magazine Shukan Bunshun revealed his comments on Wednesday.

A month ago, Yoshiro Mori ventured down from his role as president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee after causing a furore with sexist remarks when he said ladies go on and on.

Mori, 83, a former prime minister, was supplanted by athlete-turned-politician Hashimoto who has swore to make gender equality fairness at the Games.

Sasaki was named top of the creative team in December as Olympic organizers looked to patch up plans for improved ceremonies after the Tokyo Games were pushed back a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Olympics are scheduled from July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

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