Tokyo Olympics unveils $16.8 billion budget, to seek more savings

admin   •   December 23, 2016   •   667

Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee Chairperson Ryohei Miyata (R) and committee member Sadaharu Oh present the winning design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games during its unveiling ceremony in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee Chairperson Ryohei Miyata (R) and committee member Sadaharu Oh present the winning design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games during its unveiling ceremony in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

 

Tokyo Olympics unveils $16.8 billion budget, to seek more savings

Tokyo 2020 organizers unveiled on Wednesday a budget of $16.8 billion for hosting the next Summer Games and vowed to seek further savings in co-operation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has been calling for them to cut costs.

At an a open meeting of a four-party working group that includes the IOC, organisers said they estimated overall costs of 1.6 to 1.8 trillion yen ($15-$16.8 billion), the first official figures they have released since winning hosting rights.

At a previous meeting about three weeks ago, organisers had said costs could run to as much as 2 trillion yen, a level that IOC Vice President John Coates had deemed too high.

“We are pleased with the progress we are continuing to make,” Coates said via video conference on Wednesday.

He noted the $4.7 billion portion for the organising committee’s budget would all be paid for through sponsorship, IOC contributions and other private funds, at zero cost to the public, meaning they were really looking at a budget of $12.1 billion.

“The four-party political working group will continue to operate and play an important role going forward in the budget process,” Coates said.

Tokyo won hosting rights largely on its reputation for efficiency, but organisers have been embarrassed as budget projections were seen soaring far beyond the 734 billion yen that was estimated during the bid process.

A Tokyo city government panel commissioned by Governor Yuriko Koike warned in September that expenses could balloon to as much 3 trillion yen. The IOC is worried such lofty figures could scare off future bidders, after cities like Rome and Boston dropped out of the 2024 race.

“I appreciate we have reached a very significant milestone,” Koike said. “We are still keen to see further savings.”

The Tokyo panel had recommended using existing facilities for three venues instead of building new ones, in line with the IOC’s “Agenda 2020” initiative which calls for utilizing more existing infrastructure to ease the burden of hosting.

Koike ultimately abandoned plans to use existing venues for the rowing/canoeing, swimming and volleyball but cost-cutting steps, such as reducing the number of seats at the swimming arena, will save around $400 million.

Organizers noted a rise in construction costs, which have jumped due to rebuilding from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami five years ago. They also said the projected cost of temporary facilities had more than doubled as the bid file had not accounted for items like design costs, surrounding greenery and temporary toilets.

In addition, they have now set a budget of $1-$2.8 billion for contingencies and a $3.8 billion service budget for transport, security and other costs that had not been included in their bid.

Coates does not think such a large amount for contingencies will be required and that the service budget could provide additional cuts.

“The feeling we have is there are savings to be found there,” he said.

($1 = 107 yen)

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by John O’Brien and Ed Osmond)

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A year to go, rearranged Tokyo Olympics remain shrouded in uncertainty

UNTV News   •   July 21, 2020

This time last year, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach declared Tokyo the best prepared host city he had ever seen before a glitzy ceremony to celebrate one year until the Games.

Even six months ago, when fireworks erupted over a giant, luminous set of Olympic rings in Tokyo Bay, organisers were full of hope at delivering an unforgettable Games.

However, just two months later plans that had taken almost a decade to execute were shredded as the global coronavirus pandemic forced the IOC and the Japanese government to take the unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympics for a year.

Now, as Tokyo prepares to mark one year to go until the rearranged Games on Thursday (July 23), there is no doubt these Olympics will live long in the memory but organisers are desperate it is for the right reasons.

Since the postponement decision in late March, all 42 venues for the Games have been secured and the competition schedule announced with the opening ceremony taking place in the 156.9 billion yen ($1.44 billion) National Stadium on July 23, 2021.

Yet beyond that, questions remain about almost all aspects of hosting what Bach has called the ‘most complex event on this planet’.

What hasn’t been decided is how much rearranging the Games is going to cost the Japanese taxpayer.

Whilst the IOC have said their share of the bill will be some $800 million, Tokyo 2020 organizers have repeatedly refused to put a number on likely costs to Japanese stakeholders.

With the Games already costing over 1.35 trillion yen ($12.35 billion) before the postponement, more expenditure could further disenfranchise a Japanese population already turning their backs on the once-popular Olympics.

In addition to costs, other major issues dominate any conversation on the rearranged Games.

Most important – as stressed numerous times by Bach – is athlete safety.

Organisers have said all efforts will be made to ensure the 11,000 qualified athletes can travel safely to Tokyo and compete in world class surroundings.

How this will be achieved with athletes travelling from across the world and staying in the Athletes’ Village has yet to be finalised.

Whether these athletes will be competing in empty venues is another major question.

Tokyo 2020 hasn’t confirmed how many tickets have been sold but in the most recent Games budget, organizers said $800 million had been raised through ticket sales.

However, with sports events starting up across the world in empty stadiums, it remains to be seen whether fans will be allowed to attend the Olympics next year.

The challenges facing Olympics organizers are unprecedented but under questioning from athletes, fans, and sponsors, they need to find answers quickly. (Reuters)

(Production: Jack Tarrant)

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Tokyo Olympics ‘difficult’ to host next year without vaccine, top doctor in Japan says

UNTV News   •   April 28, 2020

It will be difficult for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games next year unless there is an effective vaccine against the new coronavirus, the head of the Japan Medical Association said on Tuesday (April 28).

“I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn’t host the Olympics, but I expect it would be difficult to do so,” JMA president Yoshitake Yokokura said in a media briefing.

Yokokura also called on Japan to increase coronavirus testing, which he said was not sufficient enough to assess whether the number of cases has fallen in the country.

The one-year delay of the 2020 Olympic Games announced last month was a major blow to Japan, which had already spent $13 billion preparing for the event. As the outbreak has spread around the world, infecting almost three million people and killing more than 200,000, experts have warned that the fight against the virus could be prolonged. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai)

Giant Olympic rings installed in Tokyo Bay ahead of summer games

UNTV News   •   January 17, 2020

The Olympic Rings monument is installed at Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan epa08134620 A pedestrian watches the Olympic Rings monument on a vessel being installed at Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan, 17 January 2020. At Odaiba Marine Park, the Olympic aquatic events of marathon swimming and triathlon will be held. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will open on 24 July through 09 August 2020. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

Tokyo – Giant Olympic rings have been installed on the Tokyo waterfront as a monument adding to the Japanese capital’s urban landscape and atmosphere ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the capital’s metropolitan government announced on Friday.

The steel symbol of five interlocking rings in blue, yellow, black, green and red stands about 15.3 meters high and 32.6 meters wide on a floating platform at Odaiba Marine Park, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said in a statement.

Odaiba Marine Park will be the venue for the open-water marathon swimming (10 kilometers), as well as the triathlon events.

The huge symbol features a lighting system that will be switched on for the first time on Jan. 24, a date that marks exactly six months before the start of the Tokyo Games, along with a fireworks display in the bay and other events.

After the Olympics, to be held from Jul. 24 to Aug. 9 in Tokyo, the structure will be replaced by the symbol of the Paralympic Games, which will run from Aug. 25 to Sep. 6, according to organizers.

The monument can be seen from Friday in the vicinity of the iconic Rainbow Bridge, one of the most recognizable buildings in the Tokyo Bay landscape, where most of the Olympic venues are located. EFE-EPA

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