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Tokyo Cuts Costs for 2020 Summer Olympics

Under-construction National Stadium, the main venue for Tokyo 2020 Under-construction National Stadium, the main venue for Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics organizers unveiled on December 22 a budget of $12.6 billion, a $300 million reduction from projections earlier this year, and said they are targeting more cuts to reduce the burden on Japanese taxpayers.

The organizers have been working to slash costs after a study last year warned that expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate made in the bid process, Reuters reported.

The International Olympic Committee is keen for Tokyo to set a good example by cutting costs in order to attract future candidate cities.

“We want to deliver fantastic games but at the same time we don’t want to use any public funds if we can help it,” said Hidemasa Nakamura, the chief financial officer of Tokyo 2020. “We will continue to try to reduce (costs) further.”

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government accounts for $5.6 billion of the latest budget and Japan’s central government $1.4 billion, according to the organizers’ estimates.

“We are still looking at the overall games with the big purpose of reducing costs overall, and in the process we need a clear explanation that is compelling, not just for Tokyo citizens but for all Japanese citizens,” Tokyo Metropolitan Government official Tetsushi Koyama told a news conference.

Version one of the budget, issued in December last year, was projected at $14 billion. Version three is due out in December 2018.

IOC Vice-President John Coates said earlier this month he was confident significant savings would be achieved ahead of the games but warned organizers needed to remain vigilant.

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