Kolkata: Will the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 be ultimately held or will we see a new venue? This should be the question haunting sports lovers in Japan after the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike spoke of exorbitant costs that could endanger the prospects of the Tokyo Olympics. Yet, the good news is that the Governor is in no mood to give up. “I’m a new governor and it’s my duty to deliberate on every venue, one by one,” she said on Tuesday. “Tokyo has a heavy responsibility to make the 2020 Games a success,” she was quoted by AFP.
Koike informed on Tuesday that there was still a threat of the costs reaching the 3 trillion ¥ ( $26 billion) mark, which was four times more than what was planned. According to Koike, the organisers had to control the spendings in order to make the hosting of the games a certainty. “We still haven’t got a final figure for how much it will cost. But if there is no governance within the organising committee, it could be that expensive. That’s a question for them,” said the governor, adding, “In short, it’s a question of leadership and good management.”
Koike however pointed out that there was no disparity in terms of opinions between the organisers and government authorities. “I don’t think we are on different wavelengths. Everyone is cooperating,” said the Governor who many rate as a future Prime Minister. While bidding, Tokyo had estimated a cost of 7 billion with the economic windfall being projected at ¥3 trillion, according to AFP, but the organisers are under tremendous pressure to balance the costs post the huge spending in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
To handle the crisis, Koike had initially suggested the review of the venues of rowing, swimming and volleyball, but eventually, they were not changed. “At one point the Sea Forest (rowing) venue was going to cost 1.1 billion but we have more than halved that. Tokyo is building six venues and we have made significant reductions to the costs,” Koike said.
There is also pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reduce the budget to ensure that cities do not shy away from bidding for future Olympics. “It’s just not sustainable to spend vast sums of money on the Olympics,” said Koike adding that Tokyo would be a test case for the IOC.
(With inputs from AFP)