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  • Tokyo 2020 Denies Olympic Costs Rocketing


    (ATR) Tokyo 2020 tells Around the Rings new contributions proposed by city governor Yuriko Koike are necessary, but outside of the agreed Games budget.

    Yuriko Koike speaking in Tokyo last year (Tokyo 2020/Shugo TAKEMI)
    Koike was quoted as saying by the AP that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) was proposing $7.4 billion in expenditures for "projects directly and indirectly related to the Games”.

    According to the AP, the new plan will require the TMG to contribute $13 billion for the Games, and the national government to contribute $1.4 billion. The organizing committee contribution remains at $5.5 billion. Late last year organizers said the total Games costs from both organizing and non-organizing committee budgets would be under $13 billion.

    The cost of the 2020 Olympics has been a thorny issue the last few years amid Tokyo's preparations. After Koike won election as governor she estimated that Games costs could rise to $30 billion. The IOC quickly stepped in and convened working groups to address the budget. A four-party working group decided the $12.6 billion budget that outlined the responsibilities of Tokyo 2020, the TMG, and the national government.

    Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told ATR that organizers welcomed the TMG’s “determination to seize the opportunity the Games present to invest for the future”. Takaya said these new expenditures were not part of the cost-cutting budget, but separate TMG costs.

    “The $7.4 billion tranche of TMG's budget will be spent on projects such as the promotion of barrier-free access, undergrounding utility poles, and others, all of which are associated with governing a major world city,” he said. “The investment for the administrative projects, slated to cumulate until fiscal 2020, will enhance Tokyo's ability to host a successful Games.

    “Tokyo 2020 will continue to work closely with the TMG towards further reducing the essential management and operational costs of the Games while ensuring their safe and smooth delivery."

    The IOC echoed Tokyo 2020’s stance earlier Thursday, in a statement saying the expenditures should be considered “regular administrative costs” not Olympics-related costs.

    “It will be spent on legacy projects for the city, such as the promotion of barrier-free access around venues, undergrounding utility poles, and other similar areas, all of which are considered the regular administrative costs of government," an IOC spokesperson said. "It therefore falls outside of the overall Games budget that Tokyo 2020, the TMG and the Japanese national government reported to the IOC in December last year."

    Koike was quoted as saying she presented the costs to the public since she “wanted the Tokyo residents to be aware of it”.

    “We just presented the rough scale of the costs," Koike was reported as saying. "Tokyo will be the one to cover it.”

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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