More budget cuts for Tokyo 2020

TOKYO • Tokyo 2020 organisers yesterday unveiled a budget of US$12.6 billion (S$16.9 billion) for the next Summer Olympics, a US$300 million reduction from projections earlier this year, and said they are targeting more cuts in a bid to reduce the burden on Japanese taxpayers.

Games organisers have been working to slash costs after a study last year warned that expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate made in the bid process. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is keen for Tokyo to set a good example by cutting costs in order to attract future candidate cities.

"We want to deliver a fantastic Games but at the same time... we don't want to use any public funds if we can help it," said Hidemasa Nakamura, the chief financial officer of Tokyo 2020.

"We will continue to try to reduce (costs) further."

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government accounts for US$5.6 billion of the latest budget and Japan's central government US$1.4 billion, according to the organisers' estimates.

"We are still looking at the overall Games with the big purpose of reducing costs overall, and in the process we need a clear explanation that is compelling, not just for Tokyo citizens but for all Japanese citizens," Tokyo Metropolitan Government official Tetsushi Koyama told a news conference.

Version one of the budget, issued last December, was projected at US$14 billion. Version three is due out next December.

IOC vice-president John Coates said earlier this month he was confident significant savings would be achieved ahead of the Games, but warned that organisers needed to remain vigilant.

Nakamura said he wanted to create a plan that would prompt Coates to say that "you've done a good job".

"I think there is a need to shrink costs further in version three and continue that in version four," he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'More budget cuts for Tokyo 2020'. Print Edition | Subscribe