A move by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to alter its plans for venues for some events in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo — to contain the ballooning costs of building new facilities — should take into consideration the impact on the athletes who may be affected. Costly construction plans must be reviewed to reduce the burden on the part of taxpayers, but measures also need to be taken to minimize the negative effects of the changes, including extended travel time, on the athletes’ performance.

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe announced in November that the metropolitan government has scrapped its plan to build new venues for basketball, badminton and sailing events in the 2020 games and instead will use existing facilities, including ones that are more than 20 km away from the athletes village that will be established in the Harumi area of Tokyo’s Chuo Ward. The governor explained that the estimated cost of the initial plan to build 10 new facilities had shot up from ¥153.8 billion when it filed its candidacy for the 2020 games to ¥460 billion due to surging prices of construction materials and other factors. The change in the venue plans is said to trim the overall cost to ¥260 billion.

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