TOKYO • Tokyo has slashed its budget for the 2020 Olympics by an additional 41.3 billion yen (S$493 million), an official said yesterday, amid mounting pressure to reduce the cost of hosting the huge sports event.
Olympic planning officials have made the cuts by changing construction methods and installing cheaper temporary seats in some venues instead of permanent ones.
“In total, we are now able to slash the cost of facilities by 41.3 billion yen,” a Tokyo official told AFP.
This would reduce the total cost of building venues for the 2020 Games to 182.2 billion yen from a previous plan of 224.1 billion yen, the official added.
Last year, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike ordered a revision of plans for three venues as costs spiralled to more than 2.85 trillion yen – four times the initial estimates when Tokyo won the 2020 bid.
In June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) praised Japan for slashing 2020 costs, but warned that soaring budgets could yet deter other cities for bidding for future Games.
A number of cities withdrew from the initial race for the 2024 Games, citing waning public support and concerns over the required budget.
The amount (41.3 billion yen) Tokyo will save as it revises plans for some Olympic venues.
Rome, Hamburg and Boston all pulled the plug on their bids, reflecting the political difficulties in persuading voters that staging the Olympics is worth the multi-billion-dollar price tag.
In September, the IOC awarded the 2024 Games to Paris and the 2028 Games to Los Angeles, crowning the two cities at the same time.
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