Despite rising costs, Japanese PM promises on delivering Olympics

Despite the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games costing the Japanese economy an additional 294 billion yen ($2.8 billion or over Rs 20,000 crore), Japan’s prime minister Yoshihide Suga has reiterated that the government will spare no effort to make the Games a success.

The Tokyo Olympic Games, which were scheduled to be held in 2020, had to be postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The games are now set to open on July 23, 2021.

“I expressed my strong determination to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of next year as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic,” Suga said during a video speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

The last official budget given by the organising committee in December 2019, months before the Games were postponed, was $16.9 billion.

But now Tokyo 2020 will also have to fall back on a contingency fund, which was mentioned in last year’s budget to cover the costs.

“Tokyo’s costs are Tokyo’s costs,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto was quoted as saying. “Tokyo 2020’s (allocation) is revenue that we can secure. Within this revenue we have additional sponsorship that we have requested from partners and we also have insurance.”

About two-thirds of the added costs is being picked up by the government, with the other one-third going to the privately-funded organising committee.