Local organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have strongly criticized the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan for publishing a parody image combining the games logo with a coronavirus particle on the cover of its monthly magazine.

The April issue of the FCCJ magazine Number 1 Shimbun depicts the play on Japanese artist Asao Tokolo's navy-colored check design above the words COVID-19, in an apparent reference to the postponement of the games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Supplied photo from the homepage of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan shows the front cover of the April issue of Number 1 Shimbun, the FCCJ's monthly magazine, with a logo that resembles a combination of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics emblem and the image of the novel coronavirus.)

"At a time of great suffering, it is inconsiderate to many people, especially the athletes from all over the world who had been aiming to compete at the games. It is an undignified act," the organizing committee said Tuesday in a statement.

The organizers also said the image infringed copyright and asked the FCCJ to delete it from its website. As of Wednesday, the issue carrying the controversial cover image is still available for download.

"We would like (the FCCJ) to consider this matter as soon as possible and respond," the organizing committee said.