According to an analysis by Japan’s audit board, last year’s pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics cost 20 percent higher than the final number reported by the organizing committee. A report released late Wednesday found the cost of the Games at 1.7 trillion yen ($12.9 billion), higher than the 1.42 trillion yen reported by Tokyo 2020 earlier this year.
The audit board said the organizers improperly failed to account for certain Olympic-related government expenses. Which include anti-doping measures, athlete training, and Japanese food at the athlete village, and the Olympic stadium. The 2013 bid for the Tokyo Games estimated that the event would cost just 734 billion yen. But the bill gradually increased with the postponement due to the pandemic.
Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters after asking about the cost on Thursday, “The government takes the points raised seriously and will respond appropriately.”
The pandemic caused the Games to postpone a year later than planned. The first Olympics was postponed in peacetime and spectators were banned from almost all events. These were held under strict COVID-19 countermeasures.
However, Japanese prosecutors are currently investigating allegations of bid-rigging involving sponsorship deals at the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, a former executive of a major clothing company appeared in court on Thursday. They bribed a Tokyo 2020 official and offered money to secure his firm’s sponsorship rights.
At the same time, a corruption scandal has cast a shadow over the northern city of Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics. Officials there this week announced they would stop holding campaign events for the bid. And they would now hold a nationwide poll to gauge support.