The organizer of the Tokyo Marathon is considering raising the participation fee 50 percent to ¥15,000 starting with the race in March 2020, it has been learned.
The Tokyo Marathon Foundation, affiliated with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, is mulling the move because higher security costs for the annual race are eroding its profitability, sources said. The ¥10,000 participation fee for the Tokyo Marathon hasn’t changed since it began in 2007.
The organization is expected to confirm the fee hike at an executive board meeting in December, at the earliest, the sources said.
The foundation beefed up measures to protect runners in the wake of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013. As a result, security costs for the Tokyo Marathon have ballooned 2.7 times over five years, reaching a record ¥482 million this year.
With terror threats expected to climb toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the marathon foundation is considering taking further measures, such as increasing the number of security guards and installing more metal detectors and surveillance cameras.
While the Tokyo Metropolitan Government doubled its subsidies related to the race to ¥200 million starting with the 2017 marathon, the foundation’s financial conditions remain severe.
According to the foundation, the participation fee for other domestic races, including the Saitama International Marathon in Saitama Prefecture, are higher than ¥10,000 Additionally, fees are being raised in stages for some races overseas.
The marathon organization is asking for public acceptance of the fee hike in light of the stepped-up security measures being taken to protect the runners.
The foundation will accept public opinions on the higher participation fee by email at email@example.com until Oct. 19.