Tokyo ditches Olympic logo amid new plagiarism allegation

Updated: 2015-09-02 07:18

(Agencies / China Daily)

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Tokyo ditches Olympic logo amid new plagiarism allegation

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic emblem designed by Kenjiro Sano is displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in July. [Photo/Agencies]

Tokyo Olympic organizers scrapped the logo for the 2020 Games on Tuesday following another allegation that its Japanese designer might have used copied materials.

Reversing their earlier support for Kenjiro Sano against allegations of plagiarizing the design, the organizers said the decision came after new accusations over the weekend.

"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."

The logo has faced scrutiny since a Belgian designer took legal action alleging that it resembled one of his works.

Organizers had defended Sano at a recent news conference when they released his original design-which had been changed to its final shape-to stress its authenticity. But this triggered fresh allegations over the original design.

Sano stood by his design but offered to withdraw the logo during discussions with the organizers on Monday.

Muto said the organizing committee will have another competition to decide a new logo as soon as possible.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters before the announcement that the organizing committee was making "an appropriate decision".

The logo issue is another embarrassment for Japan, which scrapped the initial design of the main stadium for the Games following public uproar over its rocketing cost estimate. The delay caused by that revision meant the new stadium won't be ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as promised initially.

Sano has faced allegations of plagiarism since the logo's debut in July. The latest suspicion surfaced late on Monday, when he was alleged to have taken a photograph from someone else's website for use in his presentation of the Olympic logo.

Sano also allegedly altered part of a photograph of a Tokyo airport lobby, replacing images of banners hanging from the ceiling with those of his Olympic logo.