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Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee to Suspend Use of Designer Sano's Olympic Logo

translated by Brett Larner

Due to the ongoing concerns over the similarity of designer Kenjiro Sano's 2020 Tokyo Olympics official logo to that of a Belgian theater, on Sept. 1 the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee indicated that is will suspend use of the logo.  It is an extremely unusual situation for an Olympic logo to be recalled.  On the afternoon of the 1st representatives of the organizing committee and members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government held an ad hoc meeting to discuss their future course of action.  2020 Tokyo Olympics organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori, Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo, Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe, and JOC chairman Tsunekazu Takeda were expected to attend.

Since the official revealing of Sano's logo design on July 24, along with a lawsuit by Olivier Debie, the designer of the logo for a Belgian theater, claiming plagiarism of his design, other problems have emerged including photos showing how to use Sano's logo having been lifted from other websites and concerns about similarities between the initial design of the logo a portion of a poster from another exhibition.

In addition to the situation involving his Olympic logo, on Aug. 14 Sano issued an apology after a number of designs he had contributed along with other designers to a Suntory Beer promotional campaign were found to have appropriated pre-existing images and designs by others.  Sano claimed that the designs had been done by members of his staff under his supervision and were not his own personal work.


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