The Tokyo Summer Olympics cost 20% more than organizers said

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, organized in 2021 a year late due to the pandemic, cost 20% more than the final figure communicated by the organizers, according to the Japanese Court of Auditors.

According to a report by this body published on Wednesday, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games cost 1,699 billion yen (17.5 billion Canadian dollars at the current exchange rate), instead of 1,424 billion yen (14. 7 billion $CA) announced by the organizers last June.

The Court of Auditors said the organizers had wrongly omitted to include certain government expenses related to the Olympics, including anti-doping measures, athlete training, Japanese food at the Olympic Village and the new Olympic stadium.

In her report, she urged the government to « reveal (in the future) full costs in a timely manner when substantially involved in a major event ».

In Tokyo’s candidacy file in 2013, the budget for these Olympics was estimated at 734 billion yen, or half as much.

But costs have skyrocketed, including the postponement of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympics were also held almost behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Thursday that the government takes the SAI report « seriously » and will respond to it « appropriately ».

In addition, a resounding bribery scandal around sponsorship contracts for the Tokyo Olympics has erupted in Japan for several months.

The first trial in the case opened on Thursday. The three defendants, former executives of Aoki Holdings, a Japanese clothing chain that was one of the sponsors of the 2020 Olympics, have pleaded guilty, according to Japanese television network NHK.

This scandal clouded the city of Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Sapporo City Hall has suspended promotional events for the bid and plans to conduct a nationwide poll to gauge public support.

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