On Dec. 3, Kyodo News reported that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics had cost less than had been anticipated, owing mainly to the fact that the Games were held without spectators, thus saving at least ¥150 billion in personnel and security expenses. These savings offset lost ticket sales, so it’s unlikely there will be any additional burden on taxpayers.

That’s good news, although it’s difficult to gauge the public’s feelings about it, given the Olympic roller coaster they’ve been riding since Tokyo won the bid to host the Games in 2013. At the time, the bid committee estimated the Games would cost ¥734 billion, a number few believed would stay that low. Then again, few expected it to balloon to ¥1.644 trillion, which was the estimate in December 2020 after the one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic added an additional ¥294 billion onto the bill. The next order of business is figuring out how much each interested party will pay.

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