Tokyo Olympics Show Director Condemned over Anti-Semitic Remarks

Society Culture Tokyo 2020

Los Angeles, July 21 (Jiji Press)--The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Wednesday condemned former Japanese comedian Kentaro Kobayashi, who is show director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics, over his anti-Semitic jokes.

In his comedy act in 1998, Kobayashi made malicious and anti-Semitic jokes including "Let's play Holocaust," according to the U.S. Jewish rights group. Kobayashi is also reported to have made distasteful jokes about disabled individuals, the SWC said.

"Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide," said Abraham Cooper, SWC associate dean and global social action director.

Cooper said, "Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews and make a cruel mockery of the Paralympics."

Recently, Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada stepped down as a composer for the Olympics opening ceremony after facing a backlash over his past bullying behavior.

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Jiji Press Tokyo 2020