Because it's never too early to talk about how expensive the Olympics will be, Tokyo Shimbun pondered the question on Feb. 6 and found out that no one involved has a clue about the cost of the 2020 Games.

In 2007, the organizers of the 2012 London Olympics already had a good idea of how much they were going to pay — the equivalent of ¥1.6 trillion — and from that point the British government checked and revised the estimate every six months, and then made the figures public. In the end, their projection exceeded the actual amount paid by ¥60 billion.

Everyone Tokyo Shimbun asked shrugged. Last December, when news outlets reported that the cost of the games would be about ¥1.8 trillion, much more than the ¥350 billion Tokyo claimed when it made its initial bid, Toshiro Muto, the head of the organizing committee, said, "We don't have a comprehensive expense estimate yet." To gain some perspective, the paper asked an expert on public works projects, and he said that new projections for the construction of some venues are already three times their initial estimates.