TOKYO PANEL DIS­CUSSES 2020 OLYMPIC COST CUTS

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$30bn New es­ti­mated cost of the Tokyo Olympics

A Tokyo metropoli­tan gov­ern­ment panel re­view­ing costly Olympic venues has pro­posed down­grad­ing the ex­pen­sive row­ing and ca­noe­ing site for the 2020 Tokyo Games to tem­po­rary qual­ity, or mov­ing the events to an ex­ist­ing site in north­ern Ja­pan. Gov­er­nor Yuriko Koike said a down­grade could de­crease the es­ti­mated con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tional cost of the Sea Forest venue from an orig­i­nal $700 mil­lion to about $300 mil­lion. Al­ter­na­tively, us­ing the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity in Miyagi would re­quire in­vest­ing an es­ti­mated 35 bil­lion yen ($350 mil­lion) to meet Olympic stan­dards. The panel of aca­demics and busi­ness con­sul­tants that the gov­er­nor set up has said the cost of the Olympics could ex­ceed $30 bil­lion – four times the ini­tial es­ti­mate – un­less dras­tic cuts are made. The city panel also pro­posed op­tions of mov­ing vol­ley­ball and swim­ming back to ex­ist­ing ones.

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