Tokyo to slash $1.7bn from Olympic construction budget

Japan is to cut $1.7bn from the cost of Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympic Games by scaling back plans to build new facilities.  

The estimated cost of 10 of the facilities for the games is currently $3.8bn, three times their original budget. Japan may reduce this price by using arenas in other cities, such as Osaka, the country’s second city, which is 400km away. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called on Japan to consider staging events outside the capital.  

The original plan was that all events would take place within 8km of the Olympic village. John Coates, the IOC vice president, said: "We should make the maximum use of existing facilities, and that overrides the 8km philosophy which we had as part of the bid.

"We suggested to the organising committee that for the preliminaries for basketball, just as for football, they may care to look at cities like Osaka that might have large venues."

Zaha Hadid’s design for the Olympic stadium (Zaha Hadid Architects)

Katsura Enyo, a senior official at the Tokyo metropolitan government’s 2020 Games planning division, told AFP: "We reviewed our facility plans after the expense swelled due to unexpected additional construction works and surging costs of construction in general. 

"We presented the revised plan to the IOC and I think we gained their understanding. What’s important is that we build facilities that Tokyoites still find useful after the Olympics are over. 

"It’s not only about money, it’s also about how to keep green areas pristine and make sure facilities are user-friendly. We want to be sure we leave a good legacy from the Olympics." 

Arup and Aecom were recently chosen to oversee the games.

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