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4 Dec, 2020 10:59

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost Japanese organizers $2.8bn

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost Japanese organizers $2.8bn

The Olympic organizing committee claimed on Friday that the postponement of the Games in Tokyo until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic will cost it an additional 294 billion yen ($2.8 billion).

The Tokyo metropolitan government is now expected to allocate 120 billion yen ($1.15 billion) for the Games, while the organizing committee will commit 103 billion yen ($990 million), and the Japanese government will pay 71 billion yen ($683 million), organizers said on Friday.

The Japanese organizers' share of the costs would come from a contingency fund within its budget, as well as from additional sponsorship and insurance, according to Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto. The last official budget announced in December 2019 amounted to $12.6 billion.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had said earlier that they will separately contribute $650 million to covering postponement costs.

The Japanese government and the IOC decided in March to delay the Games until 2021. It is the first postponement of the Olympics during peacetime since the first modern games were held in 1896.

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 and August 24 to September 5 next year. Special measures are being considered to allow the competition to go ahead while preventing coronavirus outbreaks, such as regular testing for athletes.

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Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday reiterated Japan's commitment to hosting the Olympics and Paralympics next summer. The Games will be "safe and secure," he claimed, although the government is grappling with the worst wave of coronavirus infections in the country to date.

The International Paralympic Committee announced plans to provide a $2.2-million grant package on Thursday – the largest in its history – to more than 200 member organizations to help make up for financial damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The grant will be awarded by February to help athletes prepare for the Tokyo Games, and for paralympic sport development and training.

There have been more than 156,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Japan as of Friday, and 2,274 people have died since the pandemic began.

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