Japan to change 2020 Olympics logo after plagiarism allegations

Tuesday September 1st, 2015

Tokyo Olympic officials decided on Tuesday to abandon the presented logo for the 2020 Olympics after multiple allegations that its creator plagiarized the design, reports the Associated Press.

Olympic organizers defended the logo's authenticity in a press conference last Friday, but rescinded their support after additional allegations surfaced that the bold “T” design was copied from a Belgian designer. That designer has taken legal action against Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano, claiming Sano copied the logo he created for a Belgian theater.

“We have reached a conclusion that it would be only appropriate for us to drop the logo and develop a new emblem,” said Toshio Muto, director general of the Tokyo organizing committee. “At this point, we have decided that the logo cannot gain public support.”

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Sano is also under scrutiny for allegedly using someone else's photo in his presentation of the Olympic logo, and for allegedly copying others' work in a zoo and a museum that he has designed.

“I want Mr. Sano to provide an explanation. I feel like we have been betrayed,” Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe said Tuesday.

The organizing committee will hold another competition for a new logo “as soon as possible,” Muto said.

The logo debacle is the latest hiccup in Japan's Olympic plans, as the country also faced embarrassment after public outrage over exorbitant costs forced a change in the design for the Games' main stadium. The change resulted in a delay in its construction that will leave builders struggling to meet the January 2020 deadline.

- Erin Flynn

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