IOC, Tokyo organizers aim to cut costs for the 2020 Olympics

AP , Wednesday 4 Oct 2017


The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo organizing committee wrapped up a two-day project review on Wednesday vowing to cut costs for the 2020 Games and address concerns over water pollution in Tokyo Bay.

IOC vice president John Coates said the IOC needs to see cuts of $1 billion from the $12 billion budget. Coates said he saw potential for cost reduction in 11 of the 14 areas that were discussed during the meetings.

''That's the target that we think should be achievable not just by Tokyo but by all summer organizing committees,'' said Coates, who chairs the IOC's Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. ''What we are trying to do is create a situation where there is no strain on the public purse.''

For example, Coates said IOC data from previous games shows that Olympic family lounges operate at only 40 percent capacity, meaning Tokyo organizers could save money on staffing such facilities.

The IOC is seeking to make the games more affordable as part of President Thomas Bach's ''Agenda 2020'' reforms. In a bid to cut costs, Tokyo organizers have moved several events to existing facilities in neighboring prefectures.

In late May, local governments outside Tokyo that are to host competitions agreed with the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government and games organizers on basic principles concerning cost sharing.

Yoshiro Mori, the head of the 2020 Tokyo Games organizing committee who also took part in the meetings, said it will be important to explore cost cutting ''based on the framework'' reached in May.

Mori said that while there have been some heated debates on the cost-cutting efforts, all sides agree that the ultimate goal of delivering the best possible games should be adhered to.

Coates also said that a water quality report from organizers at Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, site of the marathon swimming and triathlon events, turned up ''readings that were not what they should be.''

Tokyo organizers said the sub-standard results of recent tests were likely due to higher-than-usual rainfall in August.

Organizers released a statement on Wednesday saying they plan to implement water quality improvement measures in advance of the games.

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