The roof of the National Stadium, venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which features use of lumber the Japanese architectural tradition. Picture: AFP/BEHROUZ MEHRI
The roof of the National Stadium, venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which features use of lumber the Japanese architectural tradition. Picture: AFP/BEHROUZ MEHRI

Tokyo — The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is expected to cost about ¥1.35-trillion ($12.6bn), organisers said Friday, unveiling a final budget showing increased revenue that balances out extra costs including countermeasures against heat.

Aerial pictures of Japan’s National Stadium, under construction on April 19 2017, top, and on the day that completion was announced on November 13 2019. Pictures: STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP/JAPAN OUT
Aerial pictures of Japan’s National Stadium, under construction on April 19 2017, top, and on the day that completion was announced on November 13 2019. Pictures: STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP/JAPAN OUT

However, officials admitted the budget does not yet include an estimated ¥3-billion for moving the marathon and race walk north to Sapporo, as they wrangle with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over who bears the cost.

Revenues from domestic sponsorship and robust ticket sales have increased income by ¥30-billion, according to the fourth and final version of the Olympic budget.

This equals out a rise in forecast expenditure for items such as transport and security — as well as the heat-busting measures.

The overall ¥1.35-trillion budget for the Games is unchanged since the last version of the budget unveiled last year. There is also a ¥27-billion “contingency” pot to deal with possible emergencies such as natural disasters.

Organisers are still negotiating with the IOC over the cost of moving the marathon to the northern city of Sapporo due to the expected heat in the Tokyo summer.

“This is an unprecedented matter so there are no procedures,” Gakuji Ito, executive director for planning and finance at Tokyo 2020, explained.

“We will go into it line-by-line and we will interact with the IOC on a daily basis,” he told reporters.

Organisers have also unveiled a series of countermeasures against the heat and humidity, including water mist sprays and special heat-absorbing paint on roads — all of which cost money.

A disaster drill is held at Ariake Gymnastics Centre, a venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Tokyo on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/JAPAN OUT
A disaster drill is held at Ariake Gymnastics Centre, a venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Tokyo on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/JAPAN OUT

The IOC, wary that the ballooning cost of hosting the Games is putting some cities off from bidding, has urged Tokyo to make even more cuts. But Tokyo is also being squeezed in the other direction, with some sports voicing fears that the cuts could harm the athletes’ experience plus the all-important “look” of the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 budget is divided between the Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the national government, which is on the hook for ¥150-billion — mainly for the cost of the new National Stadium.

However, the expenditure at the national level has been a source of controversy with a widely publicised report from the Board of Audit of Japan estimating actual national government spending between the bid in 2013 and 2018 at ¥1.06-trillion, nearly 10 times the budget.

Ito countered that this estimate includes items not directly related to games operations. “The definition of Games-related costs is slightly different to ours,” he said.

Earlier in 2019, Los Angeles 2028 Olympics chiefs unveiled details of a $6.9bn budget for the Games, vowing to deliver the spectacle without cost overruns that have dogged recent editions of the extravaganza.

The Paris 2024 budget for the Games amounts to €6.8bn, €1.5bn of which will come from the state.

AFP