IOC and Tokyo 2020 Games organizers meet to discuss preparations

Kyodo

Officials of the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee started a two-day meeting Tuesday to discuss preparations for the 2020 Games, covering key issues including cost-cutting.

At the outset of the seventh project review between the two sides in Tokyo, IOC Vice President John Coates stressed the importance of reducing the overall budget of ¥1.39 trillion ($12 billion), which includes estimates for the Paralympics as well.

“You’ve seen that I am quoted as saying the IOC needs to find savings of 500 million dollars for winter games and $1 billion for summer games,” said Coates, who chairs the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We want to get to the situation where the organizing committees for games are able to cut even in their budgeting to finance the operational costs of the games,” he said, citing the revenue sources of ticketing and national sponsorships.

He also pointed out the need to review services at the athletes’ village and security measures.

In late May, local governments outside of Tokyo that will be hosting competitions during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics agreed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the national government and organizers of the games on basic principles concerning cost sharing.

Yoshiro Mori, head of the 2020 Tokyo Games organizing committee, who also took part in the meeting, said it would be important to explore cost cutting “based on the framework” reached in May.

“We intend to advance concrete discussions, without falling into abstract argument,” Mori said.

The Tokyo organizing committee has also been mulling routes through various parts of the country for the torch relay for the 2020 Games, but the proposed plans exceed the IOC’s maximum duration limit of 100 days for the relay. On this issue, Mori said he has received a response from the international committee that it would be “flexible” with the rule.

How to cope with expected high temperatures during the summer in 2020 and an operational plan for the new National Stadium are expected to be among the topics to be discussed at the meeting.