National

Japan has spent over ¥1 trillion on Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics so far, audit reveals

JIJI

A total of ¥1.06 trillion was spent on 340 projects related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics between fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2018, the Board of Audit said Wednesday.

An estimated ¥260 billion was spent in fiscal 2018, which ended March 31, according to the board’s survey.

With state expenditures expected to swell further in the run-up to the 2020 Games, the board again called on the government to disclose the whole picture of spending.

The board made the estimate by calculating costs for all related measures regardless of the relevance of projects to the games.

In October last year, the board released an estimate that the government spent ¥801.1 billion on 286 projects between fiscal years 2013 and 2017.

Meanwhile, the government separated related expenditures into three categories in line with the level of relevance to the games, claiming that state expenditures directly linked with the event were only ¥172.5 billion.

A total of ¥1.35 trillion has been budgeted for the games. Of this, the planned state costs were given at ¥150 billion, for building the new National Stadium and covering Paralympic expenses.

In January this year, the government said that a total of ¥219.7 billion will be spent on costs related to the games by the end of fiscal 2019.

Of the amount, expenses on activities to improve athletes’ competitiveness and other projects directly linked with the 2020 Games already reached ¥138 billion, excluding part of the National Stadium construction costs, according to the January announcement. The figure could increase further in fiscal 2020.

The board’s estimate of ¥1.06 trillion in costs over the six years through fiscal 2018 was downplayed by the secretariat of the government’s Headquarters for the Promotion of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It’s not appropriate to take the whole figure as expenditures related to the games,” the secretariat said. “We hope to make expenditures for projects directly linked with the games clearer to the public by disclosing as much detail of their relevance as possible.”

The board’s latest survey also found that the headquarters failed to disclose ¥13.3 billion to be spent on facility construction for police officers gathered from across the country for the games as an item in its budget for fiscal 2020.

Furthermore, ¥2.4 billion in financial assistance from the Japan Sport Council was not included in a report to the Diet, according to the survey.

The board said these expenses have high relevance to the quadrennial events and should be disclosed.

The board plans to examine 2020 Games-related measures by government agencies and release a report on spending on them after the end of the sporting events.

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