Olympics

Tokyo 2020 budget revised with eye on transportation

by Ryusei Takahashi

Staff Writer

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will cost about ¥1.35 trillion, according to the third and most recent budget announced to the press on Friday.

The local organizing committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government held a joint media briefing on Friday to announce the budget’s details. Although the total hasn’t changed, ¥20 billion have been reapportioned since the previous budget was announced last December. Half of that has been added to the transportation budget in order to increase the fleet of cars and buses, ¥5 billion will be used to reinforce food safety due to concerns of unusually hot weather predicted to hit during the games, and the remaining ¥5 billion will be allocated to help support the travel expenses of volunteers, among other things.

“Tokyo 2020 is an important economic opportunity that could bring financial growth and new jobs to the area, and we are treating it as such,” International Olympic Committee inspection team head John Coates said in a statement.

“The IOC is rejoicing in the economic impact the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has and will continue to have. The costs of the tournament will be paid for by the planning committee with money raised for the games, and thus no burden will be shouldered by public funds.”

Coates announced earlier this month that extra measures were being taken to protect athletes and spectators from the abnormal heat, including increased shading, mechanisms to spray water on runners and non-reflective pavement.

The first budget announced in December 2016 estimated the total cost of the games to be around ¥1.5 trillion. A year later it was reduced to ¥1.35 trillion, following some adjustments to transportation and safety costs.

Out of the ¥1.35 trillion in the budget, ¥600 billion comes from the IOC, ¥600 billion from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the remaining ¥150 billion from the central government.

There has been debate over the true cost of the games after the Board of Audit of Japan revealed that the central government had spent ¥801.1 billion on 286 projects for the games between fiscal 2013 and 2017. The actual budget, the Board said, could reach ¥3 trillion.

Organizers noted that they have picked up another $1 million in domestic sponsorships, bringing total sponsorship revenues to $3 billion since the previous budget was released.