Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) has apologised after publishing a parody of the Tokyo Olympics logo that depicted it as coronavirus. The drawing drew sharp criticism from the organisers of the Tokyo Games who branded it as insensitive and claimed copyright infringement. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: 2361 Cases, 76 Deaths in 24 Hours; Total Tally Crosses 70,000-mark

Club President Khaldon Azhari said their lawyers advised them on pulling out the parody logo from their website saying it had breached Japan’s stringent copyright laws. Also Read - LaLiga to Pay Tribute to Heroes of COVID-19 During Every Match

In an oline conference, Azhari expressed, “sincere regret to anyone who may have been offended on all sides of this issue.” Also Read - Kerala Allows Inter-district Bus Service in Restricted Manner, Decision to Open Temples on June 8

“In the FCCJ’s 75-year history, it has always stood as a beacon for the freedom the press in Japan, and continues to stand for those values. And for the right of journalists to hold authorities to account. This is beyond any question,” he said.

“More importantly, we are all in this coronavirus crisis together and clearly the cover offended some people in our host country Japan,” he added.

Tokyo 2020’s chief spokesman Masa Takaya on Monday had said it’s disappointing that the emblem of the Summer Games was distorted and linked with the coroavirus that has claimed lakhs of lives globally.

Takaya had said “disappointing to see the Games emblem being distorted and associated with the novel coronavirus, which affects human lives, the economy and our society”.

“I also have to say this is insensitive to many people being affected by this damaging and painful situation,” he said.

“It is especially insensitive to athletes who are willing to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Games next year and working very hard every day for next year’s Games,” he added.

The logo was published in the club’s magazine in April.

Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to the next year in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.