National

Sano stands by Olympics logo, denies plagiarism, retracts design 'to protect family, staff'

AP, Kyodo

Kenjiro Sano, whose logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was scrapped Tuesday, stood by his design but said he decided to retract the logo because he felt his design did not have the support of the public and was marring the image of the Tokyo Olympics.

“I swear my design did not involve copies or plagiarism,” Sano, 43, said in a statement on his website late Tuesday. “Any attempt of suspected copying or plagiarism should never be permitted.”

He apologized to artists and other involved parties over some of his works unrelated to the Olympic logo, while blaming some media for giving him a “bad image” and reporting “as if all of my designs were copies.”

“I made the decision (to retract the logo) after judging that it is difficult to let this situation continue, to protect my family and staff from persistent attacks and bashing over the ruckus,” Sano said, adding that the privacy of his family has been breached with their pictures exposed online.

“I feel the situation has become unbearable as a human being,” the statement said.

Sano now will not be paid the ¥1 million prize for winning the design competition.

The latest suspicion surfaced over the weekend, when he was alleged to have taken a photo from someone else’s website in materials used in Olympic logo presentations, including one at its launch, apparently without permission.

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