Audit finds Tokyo Olympic costs 20% higher than announced

The report said there was a lack of full disclosure and transparency on the part of the Japan government and the Tokyo Olympics organising committee.

December 22, 2022 05:07 pm | Updated 07:17 pm IST - TOKYO

A view of the Closing Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on August 08, 2021

A view of the Closing Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on August 08, 2021 | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The cost of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics is 20% higher than organisers said when they announced officials figures more than a year ago, according to a report by the Board of Audit of Japan.

The report, which was released this week, said there was a lack of full disclosure and transparency on the part of the government and the organising committee.

The audit put the cost at 1.7 trillion yen ($12.9 billion). Organizers last year put that figure at 1.42 trillion yen ($10.7 billion at today's exchange rate but $13 billion at the time).

“The government, if its significant involvement is expected, should make a timely disclosure of total spending or an estimation," the audit report said. "It should set up a system that allows full disclosure to contribute to the people's understanding about the hosting and execution of the event.”

Last year, organisers used a rate of 109 yen to the dollar to list the official cost, putting 1.42 trillion yen at $13 billion. At that rate, the new price is $15.5 billion.

Organisers do not disclose the exchange rate they use for payments denominated in dollars.

The audit report comes the same week that Sapporo city officials and the Japanese Olympic Committee said they are “pausing” their bid for the the 2030 Winter Games.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said the bid is being paused — not scrapped — because of damage done by the Tokyo Olympic bid-rigging scandal.

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