2015.12.23 Wednesday

023 Mystifying investigation report is out

The Tokyo Games organizing committee released its 31-page inquiry report on December 18. I read the “Investigative review report related to the original logo selection process (Re: Relevance of prior participation request to selection results)”. According to the report, investigations uncovered voting irregularities that had taken place during the original competition that was carried out by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The report publicly acknowledged that “there were irregularities during the first round of the original selection process”.

However, I felt the viewpoint could not be considered fair, and the report itself—mystifying. For one, the scope of the review was limited to: “the process covering the mailing of participation requests prior to the competition up to the final decision in choosing the winning design”. And the review shed light on a limited area only—newly uncovered evidence that pointed to misbehavior by the three gentlemen, Mr. Kazumasa Nagai, Mr. Takuma Takasaki and Mr. Hidetoshi Maki. The focus was unnaturally skewered, zealously pursuing a single angle. As a result, the report found that the first round of the selection process was indeed rigged, but went on to say that: “Any wrongdoing was limited to the first round only, and it was conducted in secret, outside the knowledge of the other judges besides the head of the judging committee and the creative director. Thus there was no evidence to be found that it affected the selection process thereafter. Therefore it cannot be said that the rigging had any effect on work designed by Kenjiro Sano being chosen as the winning logo. (…) The criticism that ‘the whole selection process was fixed to make Sano’s logo a winner’ does not apply”. So the review report pronounced that the selection process from the second round on was properly conducted and legitimate steps were in place. This was a deft creation of a fait accompli: a third-party panel conducted an objective investigation to prove that a fair judging had taken place.

As I wrote in chapter 014 “Rationale behind my decision” of this blog, at the opening of the final round of the selection process Mr. Takasaki actually made a spiel strongly backing the first place design. And I feel it is unrealistic to declare that the speech had no effect whatsoever on the ensuing discussions and the result itself. According to the investigation it was revealed that Mr. Takasaki knew the name of the creator of the piece of work, which construes an apparent fraud. And during this selection round, Mr. Takasaki cast his vote knowing the name of the creator of the first place design—and yet ventured to strongly promote this design. Doesn’t this prove without a doubt that the final round of the selection process was never fair and square? Whatever the excuse, the selection was supposed to be held anonymously. Yet, a person who was the creative director of the organizing committee which was hosting the competition, who was serving as a judge at the same time, and who was aware of the name of the creator, knowingly went ahead to take part in the selection process. The fact remains. It was an improper act, and it did affect the selection as a result. That said, in face of such concrete evidence, the investigation report claims that “(it was rigged) but had no effect on the selection”—which sounds like an arrogant “so what?” to me. The report’s stance is totally unacceptable, especially to me; for I was there for the selection process. Does the organizing committee believe that releasing this “mystifying investigation report” is enough to appease the Japanese people and win their trust and support? Really?

In regards to the investigation, I was told that a third-party panel of advisors would be studying video records from the actual screening. I also read in the published report that “assessments were made by viewing the DVD footage”. But there was no mention of any comments that were made by Mr. Takasaki or Mr. Maki. I wonder if the panel actually checked the video footage related to the two gentlemen making such statements. I wanted to double check my own recollections—to verify if they were indeed correct—and requested permission to view the video footage on numerous occasions, to no avail. I was not allowed to look at the video recording of the selection process which I experienced as a judge on the selection committee; a request I made in order to cooperate with the investigation. It is almost as if the organizing committee is making a public admission that it “cannot guarantee the credibility of the investigation”.

Mr. Takasaki was at the center of the selection process for the Games logo in his role as creative director of the organizing committee. He was the de facto “chair” of the competition. Mr. Takasaki not only knew the name of the creator, but actively rigged the selection rounds. A third-party investigation acknowledged that the selection process was rigged, yet the same external panel of advisors claimed that it was a fair selection process. Sounds like a farce to me—further evidence of disrespect towards the Japanese people.
“As a result of an investigation carried out by an external panel of advisors, it was found that there were irregularities during the first round of the selection process only, and yes, there were some inappropriate activities, but ultimately there were no wrongdoings that amount to allegations of a fixed race”—that was the goal. I think it has now become clear that “the objective of the investigation” was to justify the results of the selection process. The findings came as no surprise, it was something that I expected. But to actually read the unjust scenario and mystifying rhetoric, the tale spun by the organizing committee—as a judge who took part in the selection I feel a pang. As I noted at the end of chapter 022 here, I set my heart on believing in the “clean conscience” and the goodness of the hearts of the members of the organizing committee and the third-party advisors, I trusted they would take pride in their “public roles”. Now that the findings are out, I feel embarrassed for my own naiveté, for being so foolish and trustful.

Before I begin going over the investigation report and assessing it in detail, I would like to reintroduce the dramatis personae that appear in the report. Two are named and one person appears anonymously. The two with names are: Mr. Takuma Takasaki and Mr. Hidetoshi Maki. The unnamed person appears on multiple occasions in the role of providing physical evidence. In the report he is mentioned as “the assistant”. Judging from the context, this person accompanied Mr. Maki to his meetings as his assistant and kept track of email transactions; I think we can safely assume that he was the organizing committee official from that time. So for me, these three persons were the people who represented the organizing committee, and with whom I was in contact from the time I was asked to serve as judge, up to the scrapping of the winning logo. As for the email transactions and other information that served as the bulk of physical evidence and which made up most of the investigation report, pointing to the newly discovered collusion by Mr. Nagai, Mr. Takasaki and Mr. Maki—I believe the records and information were provided by the assistant, who is an employee of Dentsu Inc.

I will start by listing the agenda and pulling excerpts from the investigation report. (*excerpts taken as needed)

■ Investigative review report related to the original logo selection process” agenda and excerpts
---------------------------------------------------
■ Introduction (page 2)
○ Regarding the string of problems related to the selection of the original logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the Organizing Committee investigated the matter which led to the withdrawal of the logo, studied and reviewed the way of thinking that prevailed during that time, organized and reflected on such issues that needed to be addressed. The findings were compiled into a report and released at the 8th board meeting held on September 28.
○ In the report we were able to make a wide in-depth assessment covering the principles behind the emblem selection, the process itself, the unveiling of the winning logo that ended in the withdrawal; through which we were able to discover and shed light on a wide range of issues that needed to be addressed. 
○ During the assessment, we uncovered the fact that invitations were sent out to eight designers, soliciting their participation, before the public offering. It was also discovered that the three prize winners were among these eight invitees. 
○ The organizing committee then decided that further investigation was needed in order to properly assess the connection between the participation request and the results of the selection. It decided to further investigate the matter with the help of a review panel made up of civilian advisors.
○ The team conducted their investigation which centered on hearing sessions with persons relevant to the selection process, and compiled their findings. The organizing committee added their speculations in preparing this review report.
○ The organizing committee has already begun the selection process to choose a new logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The committee vows to take into consideration all issues that were addressed in this report in developing a new emblem that will be cherished by the Japanese people. The lessons learned will be reflected and put to good use in the management of the committee in the future.

December 18, 2015

2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
Tokyo Organizing Committee Chief Executive Officer
Toshiro Muto

■1. Investigation outline (page 4-5)
[1] Information regarding the third-party evaluators/names, job titles of the four advisors

[2] Outline of the method of the review
[2]-(1) Review of related records
Assessed and analyzed records (including emails and visual footage) related to the emblem selection that was kept at the organizing committee and/or submitted voluntarily by related parties.
[2]-(2) Hearing sessions with relative persons (including written responses)
Conducted hearings with organizing committee staff (including former staff members) who were connected to the selection process; judges on the selection panel; designers who were recipients of invitation letters. Hearings were conducted with 27 persons. Total time for the hearings, 32 hours.

[3] Contents of the investigation
[3]-(1) Scope of investigation/From the invitation letters being sent out up to the selection of the winning works
[3]-(2) Investigation items/Items listed hereunder were assessed
・The releasing of the letter inviting participation to the competition sent to eight designers
・Evidence as to connection between invitation to participate and preferred treatment
・Effects of invitation to participate had on selection of winning works

■2 Public competition and selection process (page 6-7)

■3 Findings by review panel(page 8 -18)
[1] The releasing of letter inviting eight designers to participate in the competition (page 8-11)
[1]-(1) Facts
[1]-(2) Opinion of review panel

[2] Evidence as to connection between invitation to participate and preferred treatment (page 12-18)
[2]-(1) Facts
[2]-(2) Opinion of review panel

[3] Effects of invitation to participate had on selection of winning works (page 19-22)
[3]-(1) The first round of the selection process
[3]-(2) The second round of the selection process
[3]-(3) The final round of the selection process held on the second day
[3]-(4) Final findings
The irregularities during the first round of the selection process were limited to the first round only, and it was conducted in secret, outside the knowledge of the other judges besides the head of the judging committee and the creative director. Thus there was no evidence to be found that the rigging affected the selection process thereafter. Therefore it cannot be said that the rigging had any effect on work designed by Kenjiro Sano being chosen as the logo candidate.
Thus after carefully studying the emails sent among the relevant persons, hearings conducted with persons related to the matter, and the voting activities of the respective judges, judging from such facts, the criticism that ‘the whole selection process was fixed to make Sano’s logo a winner’ does not apply. The head of the judging committee disclosed that he had chosen Mr. Sano as one of the recipients of the invitation letters to participate in the competition because Mr. Sano was the most recent winner of the Yusaku Kamekura Award, considered one of the most prestigious graphic design awards in Japan, and he felt that Mr. Sano was one of the most impressive young designers in Japan. There is nothing illogical in this statement. (…) One of the judges had been in contact with one of the invitees to the competition during the time period between the invitation letter being sent out and the actual selection, but in connection to a matter unrelated to the competition itself. No evidence was discovered that the two had inappropriate contact regarding the emblem selection.

[4] Other items beyond the scope of investigation
[4]-(1) Revisions applied to Mr. Sano’s work leading up to the final selection
[4]-(2) Other notable items

[5] In closing (page 28-29)
“A small act of unfairness was implemented in secret in order to send out the best emblem ever”. Acts of misconduct that we see take place around us are described in a similar line of thought. We hear comments like “Injustices applied for a greater goal don’t count as injustices” or hear about “an act taken to create something great”. During the hearing, we repeatedly encountered the phrase “It’s the results that count”. No one doubted the words and everything was pushed forward accordingly. There was an atmosphere that disrespected fair procedures and overlooked compliance. Hell-bent on getting it right—that is surely not the way for the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics… The biggest defect that we discovered at this time was the wrongness of going ahead with the specialist-mindset, forgetting to give thought to “the people’s event”, disregarding it was a search for a logo that would be “admired by the people”. During the process the “people” were forgotten—the people who make up the biggest membership of this “All Japan” project. No matter how wonderful an emblem was developed for the Games, if the selection process lacked fairness, it would never win the support of the Japanese people. The organizing committee has begun its renewed efforts to choose a new emblem for the Olympic Games. The committee is tasked to make good use of past experience and make sure that fairness is in place in choosing a logo that will make many people proud. What we need is to find a logo that people can truly call “Our Olympic logo”.

■4 Opinion of the Organizing Committee (page 30-31)
○ It was discovered that irregularities had taken place during the first round of the selection process.
○ The emblem holds a symbolic significance for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thus we deeply regret that there were improprieties discovered in the selection process.
○ As was pointed out by the review panel, though it had no effect on the outcome of the selection, the issue could have affected the entire emblem selection process.
○ The organizing committee will humbly accept and consider the findings of the review panel and implement steps for renewed governance as follows (4 items listed)
○ Regarding the selection of the new emblem, the work will go forward based on the shared understanding that the logo is to serve as the symbol for an event developed by an “All Japan” effort. The process will be governed by the principles of “transparency” and “participation by the people” as follows: (5 items listed)
○ We vow to change course to become an organization open to a wider audience. In order to realize that goal we vow to strengthen management and give our best efforts to make the 2020 Tokyo Games a great Olympic and Paralympic event where major players—the people and the athletes—can truly shine.
---------------------------------------------------

In the next chapter, I will begin assessing the specific contents of the report.
 
Keiko Hirano
 
Keiko Hirano:
Designer/Visioner, Executive Director of Communication Design Laboratory
Hirano served on the panel that chose the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was ultimately withdrawn.

五輪エンブレム問題の
事実と考察
001 責任がとれる方法で 002 公募期間の短さ 003 『展開』『展開性』『展開力』 004 知らされなかった招待作家 005 ブログを読んで下さっているみなさまへ 006 利害優先の土壌 007 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.1 008 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.2 009 『公』の仕事 010 専門家の盾 011 秘密保持誓約書という密室 012 いまこそ、私心なき専門性を問う 013 判断の論拠 014 最終の審議 015 金銭感覚と敬意の相対性 016 表現におけるモラリティと表現者のモラル 017 言葉のちから 018 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.1 019 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.2 020 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.3 021 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.4 022 願い 023 摩訶不思議な調査報告書 024 負の遺産とならないように 025 出口なき迷路 026 届かぬ思い 027「社会に位置づくデザイン」という観点 028 無責任主義の村 029 審査委員として知り得た情報のすべて 030 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.1 031 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.2 032 1対3の構図 - 「A案」VS「BCD案」 033 今を生きる 034 負の連鎖……を断つために 035 欲望の公害 精神の断絶 036 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.1 037 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.2 038 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.3 039 事実はひとつ 040 新世界へ 041 JAGDA文書への意見と要望 ― 法律の専門家による分析 042 JAGDAの回答 JAGDAへの要望書 043 「要望書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する更なる質問 044 「意見書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する質問と提案 045 ブラック・デザイン 046 弁護士から届いた封書 047 おとぎの国の物語
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo Controversy--Facts and Observations 001 My way of taking responsibility 002 Duration of contest was way short 003 “Development” “Development Capabilities” “Development Power” 004 Guest artists I wasn’t told about 005 To My Readers 006 A culture where special interests take priority 007 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.1 008 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.2 009 Strictly “public” work 010 Specialists as shields 011 Behind closed doors-secrecy surrounding a non-disclosure agreement 012 Time to put selfless expertise to the test 013 Rationale behind my decision 014 The final review session 015 Is the money mindset relative to paying respect? 016 Morality of expression and the morals of its creator 017 The power of words 018 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.1 019 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.2 020 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.3 021 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.4 022 My wish 023 Mystifying investigation report is out 024 In order to prevent a negative legacy 025 Stuck in a maze with no exit 026 A voice unheard 027 A viewpoint that calls for “design with a place in society” 028 A village with a policy of irresponsibility 029 Every piece of information that I garnered as a judge on the selection committee 030 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.1 031 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.2 032 The underlying picture of one against three - “Plan A” versus “Plans BCD” 033 Living in the moment 034 Putting a stop……to a negative chain of events 035 Pollution by greed and discontinuity of the spirit 036 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.1 037 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.2 038 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.3 039 Every fact has only one version 040 Toward a whole new world 041 Opinion and request regarding JAGDA document―An analysis by a legal specialist 042 Reply from JAGDA Request letter to JAGDA 043 More questions re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 044 Questions and proposal re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 045 Rogue design 046 Letter from the lawyers 047 Tales from Wonderland