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Dentsu worker resigns from Tokyo Olympic production team for harassing colleagues

Kaoru Sugano (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A creative director at advertising giant Dentsu Inc. serving as a main member of a production team in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has resigned from his position after he was subject to disciplinary action by his employer over power harassment against his subordinates, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said on Jan. 7.

Those abused by Kaoru Sugano, 42, are reportedly Dentsu members of staff on the team that is producing the ceremonies. Sugano submitted his resignation from the Olympic group on Jan. 7, and the organizing committee accepted his decision to step down.

According to the organizing committee, it received a report from Dentsu regarding its disciplinary action against Sugano in early December 2019. It said that the victims were individuals connected to the firm. The organizing committee refrained from providing detailed information, stating, "We are not in a position to respond to questions about internal disciplinary measures at Dentsu."

The stage production for the opening and closing ceremonies at the games is concentrated on eight creatives, including Kyogen theater performer Nomura Mansai acting as the general manager and film director Takashi Yamazaki. Production itself has been entrusted to Dentsu. Sugano was also on the team that formulated Japan's performance at the end of the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games, in which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerged on stage dressed as Nintendo character Super Mario.

(Japanese original by Akira Matsumoto, Sports News Department)

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