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Olympics opening ceremony director fired over Holocaust joke

The troubled Olympic Games has taken yet another blow in its build-up as organisers fired the director of the opening ceremony over a joke he made about the Holocaust.

Kentaro Kobayashi was axed because of a joke he made during a comedy show in 1998, including the phrase ‘Let’s play Holocaust’.

Organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto said: “We found out that Mr Kobayashi, in his own performance, has used a phrase ridiculing a historical tragedy. We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country.”

In a further blow, local media in Tokyo has reported former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a staunch advocate for the Tokyo Games, would skip the showpiece event.

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