• JIJI, Kyodo


A key member of the planning team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics set to be held this summer has resigned over a power harassment claim, it was learned Tuesday.

The organizing committee of the games revealed that Kaoru Sugano, an employee of Japanese ad giant Dentsu Inc. currently assigned as creative director for the Olympic ceremonies, stated his intention Tuesday night to step down as he has been subject to disciplinary measures over the harassment case.

Dentsu told the committee last month that Sugano had acted toward staff members of the firm’s project team for the ceremonies in a way regarded as power harassment, according to the committee.

“We have no choice but to proceed (with preparations for the ceremonies) to make sure there are no effects” from the development, an official of the committee said.

The ceremony planning team for the organizing committee is headed by Mansai Nomura, an acclaimed actor of traditional kyogen farcical plays. Other members include film director Takashi Yamazaki, and singer and musician Ringo Sheena.

Previously, Sugano was part of the team that created Japan’s presentation at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerge from a large green pipe in homage to Nintendo character Mario.

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