Tokyo panel head says 2020 or­gan­is­ers not co­op­er­at­ing

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

The head of a Tokyo gov­ern­ment cost-cut­ting panel has crit­i­cized 2020 Olympic or­gan­is­ers for not co­op­er­at­ing on rec­om­men­da­tions de­signed to reduce spi­ral­ing ex­penses for the games.

The panel has said the cost of the Tokyo Olympics could ex­ceed $30 bil­lion — four times the ini­tial es­ti­mate — un­less dras­tic cuts are made.

One sug­ges­tion was to move the row­ing and ca­noe­ing venue to an ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity in Miyagi pre­fec­ture, 400 kilo­me­ters north of Tokyo.

That came af­ter the pro­jected cost for the orig­i­nal Sea For­est venue on Tokyo Bay soared to nearly 50 bil­lion yen ($480 mil­lion), seven times the ini­tial es­ti­mate.

Tokyo or­ga­niz­ers coun­tered by say­ing mov­ing to Miyagi could ac­tu­ally drive up costs as that venue lacks Olympic-stan­dard in­fra­struc­ture.

“They (The or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee) have not come to the point where they are co­op­er­at­ing in spe­cific ways to carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the venue to­gether with Miyagi pre­fec­ture,” panel chair­man Shinichi Ueyama said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the For­eign Cor­re­spon­dents' Club of Ja­pan.

Call­ing Tokyo 2020's re­jec­tion of the Miyagi site “un­fair”, Ueyama said it's the only re­al­is­tic out-oftown al­ter­na­tive to the Sea For­est venue, con­sid­er­ing the time needed for ad­di­tional con­struc­tion and other prepa­ra­tions.

The re­lo­cated venue would re­quire up to 20 bil­lion yen ($190 mil­lion) in con­struc­tion costs to meet Olympic stan­dards.

Ad­di­tional costs re­lated to se­cu­rity, trans­porta­tion and other in­fra­struc­ture could add up fur­ther. An ear­lier cost es­ti­mate for the Na­ganuma site was 35 bil­lion yen ($330 mil­lion).

The city panel also pro­posed scal­ing down planned new venues for volleyball and swim­ming, and ht pos­si­bil­ity of mov­ing volleyball to the nearby city of Yoko­hama and build­ing a smaller venue for swim­ming.

Ueyama also crit­i­cized the lack of fi­nan­cial ac­count­abil­ity in the way the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee was put to­gether, com­par­ing it to a com­pany with no CEO or CFO.

While Ueyama said there are lead­ers in sim­i­lar roles within the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, the Tokyo Met­ro­pol­i­tan Gov­ern­ment and the Ja­panese Olympic Com­mit­tee, there is not one within the co­or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee that brings the var­i­ous par­ties to­gether.

“There is no­body who plays the role of a CEO or a CFO,” Ueyama said. “If you com­pare it to a reg­u­lar com­pany there is no­body serv­ing in that func­tional role.”

The panel rec­om­mended that the Tokyo Met­ro­pol­i­tan Gov­ern­ment, which will con­trib­ute the ma­jor­ity of fi­nances, should serve in the role of CFO jointly with the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee.

The or­gan­isz­ing com­mit­tee has yet to re­lease a bud­get for the games, some­thing which Ueyama urged them to do as soon as pos­si­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.