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Olympic opening ceremony boss sacked day before show ‘due to holocaust jokes’

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The director of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been dismissed after reports about his past comments on the Holocaust.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a briefing that Kentaro Kobayashi had been dismissed because of comments that made fun of the atrocity.

The opening ceremony of the delayed Olympic games is due to take place on Friday.

It comes after it emerged that Mr Kobayashi made light of the mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis in a script for a 1998 comedy act, including saying, “Let’s play Holocaust.”

Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Centre [SWC] had condemned what it called past anti-Semitic jokes.

Olympics logo
Jewish groups condemned the jokes

SWC Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director, Rabbi Abraham Cooper said: “Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide.

“The Nazi regime also gassed Germans with disabilities. 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.”

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