Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo scrapped amid plagiarism controversy

    Tokyo Olympic logo designer Kenjiro Sano explains his design during a press conference on August 5, 2015. The designer later withdrew the emblem after a plagiarism controversy.

    Story highlights

    • Controversial logo for 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been scrapped amid allegations of plagiarism
    • Tokyo committee had initially defended Sano's stylized "T"
    • Designer Kenjiro Sano: "I can no longer endure as a human being"

    (CNN)A controversial logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been scrapped amid allegations of plagiarism against designer Kenjiro Sano, the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has said.

    Organizers had defended Sano's stylized "T" as recently as last Friday against accusations of copying from Belgian designer Olivier Debie, who had designed a similarly stylized logo for the Theatre de Liege in his country.
      Sano denied the allegations, saying he had never seen the Belgian design and that the red circle in his design was meant to evoke the Japanese flag.
      But with criticism mounting, Tokyo organizing committee head Toshio Muto announced at a press conference Tuesday that the logo had been withdrawn by Sano. He said the committee would "respect the decision" and develop a new design.
      Belgian designer Olivier Debie  poses with Tokyo's 2020 Olympic emblem and the logo of the Theatre de Liege.
      "Using the logo that is not supported by the public is not quite suitable (for the success of the Olympics)," he said.