Olympics: Tokyo governor hits out at 'ridiculous' 2020 bill

Australia's New South Wales state premier Mike Baird (Right) shakes hands with Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe (Left) after exchanging an agreement for cooperation regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo city hall on May 19, 2015. On Tuesda
Australia's New South Wales state premier Mike Baird (Right) shakes hands with Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe (Left) after exchanging an agreement for cooperation regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo city hall on May 19, 2015. On Tuesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government has hit out at the "ridiculous" US$407 million (S$546 million) bill they have been asked to foot for the main stadium at the 2020 Olympics. -- PHOTO: AFP 

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The Tokyo metropolitan government has hit out at the "ridiculous" US$407 million (S$546 million) bill they have been asked to foot for the main stadium at the 2020 Olympics.

"It's out of order," Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe was quoted as saying by Kyodo News on Tuesday.

Masuzoe said he thought the city would have to pay far more than the US$407 million estimate, around a third of the overall cost for knocking down and rebuilding the facility, that sports minister Hakubun Shimomura had quoted.

Masuzoe was also unhappy with some of the items on the bill that Shimomura produced after a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We're asked to foot the bill for barrier-free design and air conditioning, but they are not going to be used solely for the Olympics," he said.

"If it's about this ridiculous figure that's been submitted to the Prime Minister's office, then he shouldn't bother coming over for an explanation."

Japan are looking to cut costs from the 170 billion yen (S$1.87 billion) bill because of budget-busting construction and rising labour costs.

Shimomura has scrapped the planned retractable roof and made around 35 per cent of the seats at the 80,000-seater stadium, which will also host matches at the 2019 rugby World Cup, temporary ones in another cost-cutting measure.

Other venues for the Games, Japan's first since 1964, have also been hit by the budget cuts. Tokyo will renege on its bid commitment to host a majority of events within 8 km of the Olympic village, with plans for 10 venues being looked into.