Postponed Tokyo Olympics cost double

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TOKYO:

The final price tag for last year’s Tokyo Olympics was more than double the city’s original estimate in 2013 after a year’s coronavirus postponement added to the already hefty bill.

The organizing committee said on Tuesday that the Games cost 1.42 trillion yen, the equivalent of $13 billion at the time. At today’s rates, with the yen at a 24-year low against the dollar, the figure would be $10.4 billion.

Tokyo 2020 took place a year later than planned due to the pandemic – the first Olympic Games postponed in peacetime – and spectators were banned from almost all events, which took place under strict countermeasures from Covid-19.

The Games cost double the 734 billion yen Tokyo Games organizers predicted in their bid to the International Olympic Committee in 2013, but less than the final pre-Games budget unveiled in December 2020.

Despite losing ticket sales, organizers saved money by simplifying events and avoiding the cost of hosting millions of fans.

The organizing committee, which is disbanding at the end of June, said the final cost of the event was 200 billion yen less than its pre-Games budget in 2020 and 29 billion yen less than the final forecast of reduced costs in December 2021.

“It is up to everyone involved in this event to pass on the legacy of the Tokyo Olympics to the next generation,” said Tokyo 2020 manager Seiko Hashimoto.

Tokyo saw a surge of Covid-19 last year ahead of the Olympics, fueling fears the event could worsen outbreaks in Japan and possibly around the world.

The city of Sapporo, in northern Japan, is a candidate to host the Winter Olympics in 2030.

A survey conducted in March in Sapporo and the surrounding region showed that a majority of the public is in favor of holding the event.

Officials have ruled out holding a public referendum on the 2030 bid.

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