National

Local governments agree on cost sharing for 2020 Olympics

Kyodo

Local governments outside Tokyo that are slated to host competitions during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics agreed Wednesday on basic principles concerning cost sharing with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the central government and games organizers.

Leaders and representatives from seven prefectures, including Fukushima and Hokkaido, and four cities, such as Yokohama and Chiba, expressed pleasure that the metropolitan government included the original candidature file as a document to use as a basis for further discussions on the matter.

The file, which was submitted as part of the bid to the International Olympic Committee in 2013, stipulates that local governments hosting competitions will pay for costs including security, medical service and transportation to and from venues but the organizing committee will pay for expenditures to build temporary facilities for venues outside of Tokyo.

After the hourlong meeting in the nation’s capital, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said that the broad agreement was “a big step forward” that would allow the stakeholders to accelerate preparations toward staging a successful Olympics in 2020.

The games organizing committee, the central government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and local authorities launched a four-party panel in January to hammer out a framework for sharing the costs of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics by the end of March.

But discussions hit a snag as local governments objected to the idea that they would have to shoulder part of the expense of building temporary facilities for the quadrennial summer games, because the bidding file said such expenses will be covered by the organizing committee.

The spending for temporary facilities outside Tokyo are now set to be covered by the metropolitan government and the organizing committee.

The organizers announced in December an estimate for the total cost of hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games of ¥1.6 trillion to ¥1.8 trillion ($15 billion to $16.8 billion).

The metropolitan government estimates the expenditures, excluding contingency funds, to come to ¥1.385 trillion and has agreed, along with the organizing committee, to cover ¥600 billion each while the central government will shoulder ¥150 billion.

An earlier estimate put the amount to be paid for by related regional governments at ¥40 billion, but a streamlined figure indicated by the metropolitan government Wednesday stood at ¥35 billion.

Specific breakdowns for each local government concerned will be discussed based on the candidature file as well as the organizing committee’s basic plan for hosting the games released in February 2015.

“We would like to ask the related local authorities to conduct operations (as hosts) and we will have to work out details which we will look at one by one,” Koike said during the meeting, most of which was initially scheduled to be closed to the press but ended up being fully open.

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