By Mark Sinclair

Amid allegations of plagiarism, usage of Kenjiro Sano’s recently unveiled emblem for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been suspended by the Games’ organising committee, according reports from Japanese media and AP

The logos for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were unveiled in July. Shortly after, however, Belgian designer Olivier Debie claimed that the Tokyo logo was similar to one he had created for the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium (shown below).

Writing about the row on The Guardian, Rob Alderson noted that Studio Debie had posted a picture on Facebook which put the two logos side by side and that on 28 July the studio tweeted a gif of the theatre’s logo morphing into the 2020 emblem alongside the hashtag “#plagiat?”

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, Debie has since filed a lawsuit over the similarities. Sano denies all allegations of plagiarism.


At the time the Tokyo 2020 logo was revealed, many on Twitter also pointed out its supposed similarity to a design created by Barcelona’s Hey Studio for the WallForJapan app in 2011 (shown below).

Hey later commented that they were certain that any similarities between their Rebuild Japan design and the Tokyo logo were entirely coincidental.


According to NHK it remains unclear as to whether Sano’s 2020 logo will be dropped altogether. A report on The Japan Times website claims that the organising committee is set to convene an emergency meeting today and will hold a news conference this evening.

More on the story at

Read more here:: Tokyo 2020 Olympics suspends use of its logo according to reports