January 8, 2020 / 5:12 AM / 13 days ago

Official overseeing Tokyo Olympics ceremonies punished for "power harassment" -media

TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - An official at Japan’s largest advertising agency Dentsu Group Inc, who was a key figure in creating the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has been punished for “power harassment”, local media reported on Wednesday.

Dentsu penalised creative director Kaoru Sugano, 42, last month after complaints from an employee of a business partner, daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported without detailing the incident or punishment.

Sugano has since resigned from his role of overseeing performances at the Olympic ceremonies, the Asahi said.

The Mainichi daily newspaper said Sugano received “disciplinary action” for his conduct.

Neither Dentsu nor the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee immediately responded to Reuters requests for comment. Reuters could not reach Sugano for comment.

The incident is the latest to throw Dentsu’s work culture under the spotlight. The firm’s president stepped down from his role following the “death by overwork” of a young employee three years ago in a suicide which prompted official probes and fresh hand-wringing over Japan’s overtime culture.

Last month, Dentsu received a warning from labour authorities over overtime practices.

Sugano was involved in making Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appear as Nintendo Co Ltd video game character Super Mario during the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, local newspapers said.

Last month, Abe hailed the completion of the National Stadium built for the Olympics in Tokyo which will stage athletics and soccer events at the Games as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. (Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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