National

Disappointment, anger over Olympic logo 'embarrassment'

Kyodo

Many people reacted with disappointment and anger after the logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was scrapped amid accusations of plagiarism.

“It is an embarrassment of Japan to have caused such a stir. The emblem should be remade from scratch,” said Norihiro Murakami, 47, of Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics.

“I have the impression that the issue was handled poorly. Such a problem did not occur at the Nagano Olympics,” said Soichiro Yoshida, who was on the organizing committee of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games decided Tuesday to scrap the logo, designed by Kenjiro Sano, just over a month after it was unveiled.

Belgium-based designer Olivier Debie alleged plagiarism and filed a lawsuit to prevent use of the design.

The incident is a second blow for Japan over the 2020 Olympics, as the government and organizers last month were forced to ditch the initial plan for the main stadium due to snowballing cost estimates.

“I’m worried about whether Japan can really host the Olympics,” said a 28-year-old woman in Tokyo.

Sports journalist Gentaro Taniguchi said, “The double collapses of the Olympics’ two symbols — the stadium and the logo — have significantly damaged the Tokyo Olympics and Japan has lost the confidence of international society.”

The logo had been already displayed at various locations, such as airports, while officials of companies sponsoring the games have printed it on their business cards.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has placed orders for ¥46 million worth of items, such as posters and banners, bearing the logo.

“I wanted the committee to make the decision (to scrap the logo) earlier,” one official said.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5