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March 18, 2021

Tokyo Olympic ceremonies chief Sasaki formally resigns over comedian insult

 l  TOKYO (March 18, Kyodo) -- The organizing committee of this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will accept its chief executive creative director's offer to resign, Seiko Hashimoto, head of the body, said Thursday, after he suggested a female Japanese comedian dress as a pig for the opening ceremony.

After a magazine report, Hiroshi Sasaki admitted in the early hours of Thursday that he proposed last year that plus-size celebrity Naomi Watanabe come down from the sky dressed in a swine costume for the Olympic opening ceremony in a segment dubbed "Olympig."

The departure of 66-year-old Sasaki follows that of Yoshiro Mori, who stepped down from his role as president of the organizing committee last month after causing a furor with sexist remarks.

(Photo: Hiroshi Sasaki, head creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, seen in this file photo, said in the early hours of March 18, 2021 that he will step down over a derogatory suggestion involving popular female entertainer Naomi Watanabe.)