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Tokyo 2020 shuffles Olympic ceremony teams

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-12-23 16:58
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The giant Olympic rings are pictured two days before the start of the one-year countdown to the Tokyo Olympics that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan July 21, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced here on Wednesday that Hiroshi Sasaki has replaced actor Nomura Mansai to become the chief executive creative director of next year's opening and closing ceremonies.

Sasaki, director of the flag handover ceremony at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be responsible for revising the program for next year's opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The organizers said that the ceremonies will be "in tune with the situation next summer", and will "likely take a simpler and more restrained approach designed to reflect the overall simplification of the Games and the potential need to still consider COVID-19 countermeasures".

In an interview last April, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said that preparations for the ceremonies had been "almost completed" but needed to be reviewed, adding that he would ask the creative team to include the pandemic as part of it.

Mansai, a master of Japan's traditional Kyogen comic theater, had been in charge of a seven-strong planning team since July 2018.

Sasaki, 66, who was also a member of Mansai's team responsible for the Paralympics ceremonies, produced the program for the one-year countdown ceremony until next year's postponed Olympic Games.

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