Incidents related to official emblems for public institutions and events in Japan, like Tuesday’s retraction of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo, are nothing new.
In the case of Expo ’70 held in Osaka, the selection committee chose a design from 48 applications in 1966, but the decision was retracted after objections were raised by the organizer’s board of directors, which said the design was too abstract and did not have popular appeal.
The committee launched a competition again to select a new design.
In 2011, the Consumer Affairs Agency modified its official logo after a nonprofit organization in the United States claimed that it resembled the group’s registered trademark.
The agency changed the number of lines in the logo, as well as the thickness and color of the lines.
Recently, an emblem printed on the fire engines of a fire bureau covering the western part of Saitama Prefecture drew controversy, as many pointed out on the Internet that the design depicting the name of the city of Tokorozawa looks similar to the official logo of well-known rock singer Eikichi Yazawa.
Fire bureau officials said they did not intend to imitate Yazawa’s logo, characterized by an extended “Z,” adding that they have no plans to change the design.