The show director for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has been fired on the eve of the event over a decades-old skit referencing the Holocaust, in the latest blow for organisers of the pandemic-delayed Games.

Kentaro Kobayashi’s comments in a video of a comedy sketch from 1998 emerged online overnight and sparked shock from some in Japan.

“It came to light that during a past performance, (he) used language that mocked a tragic fact of history,” Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto told reporters.

“The organising committee has decided to relieve Kobayashi of his post,” she added.

In the sketch, Kobayashi and a comedy partner pretend to be a pair of famous children’s TV entertainers.

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