Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4 billion

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GBNEWS24 DESK//

The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organisers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.
The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime, insisting the massive event can go ahead next year even if the pandemic is not under control.

But more spending, on top of the previous budget of about $13 billion, could further harden public opinion in Japan, where polls this year showed a majority of people think the Games should be postponed again or cancelled together.

“Whether it’s seen as too much or that we have done well to contain the costs, I think it depends on how you look at it,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.

“We have done all we can to earn the public’s understanding,” he added.

Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay, with another $900 million in spending on coronavirus countermeasures.

The dollar figures are calculated at an exchange rate of 107 yen, and the total is around $2.56 billion at today’s rate. The costs look set to rise further, with Tokyo 2020 saying it would also release an additional $250 million in “contingency” funds.

– Cost-cutting efforts –

The new spending swells a budget that was set last year at around $13 billion, and will add to disquiet about the cost of the Games after an audit report last year argued the national government was spending significantly more than originally planned.

The extra costs will be split between Tokyo, the organising committee and the national government. The International Olympic Committee will not be chipping in, but has agreed to waive its sponsor royalty fee for the first time, organisers said.

The unprecedented decision to delay the Games has thrown up a plethora of extra costs, from rebooking venues and transport to retaining the huge organising committee staff.

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