Mori Seeks Solution to Tokyo Olympics Budget Crisis

(ATR) Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori says "unclear role sharing" between stakeholders is creating budget problems.

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(ATR) Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori says "unclear role sharing" between stakeholders is creating budget problems.

The IOC concluded its three-day check-up of 2020 Olympic preparations Friday with inspection chief John Coates urging stakeholders to get their house in order to resolve budget concerns. The IOC is unhappy about proposals to set the budget ceiling at $20 billion when Coates and his colleagues believe the Games can be delivered for much less.

Speaking to media in Tokyo, Mori underlined Tokyo 2020’s "biggest problem", which drew criticism from Coates in an exclusive interview with ATR published earlier on Friday. Mori suggested there was confusion about the division of labor between the organizing committee he leads, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and national government.

Mori told reporters he has asked the TMG and government to restart discussions about "role sharing", which he said had stopped when Yuriko Koike was elected as Tokyo governor in July.

"We were angry and indicated the total budget [$20 billion] because of this unclear role sharing is bottleneck of every problem," Mori said.

"We need to settle this problem immediately and we have to strengthen the total budget.

"The word ‘integration’ was emphasized," he said of Tokyo 2020’s meetings with the IOC delegation.

"With the growing number of Tokyo 2020 staff members, it is indeed the key element of our organization - how to operate as ‘one team’. The commission provided us with some valuable ideas about how to make the best use of the remaining three years and eight months until the Tokyo 2020 Games."

Mori indicated there may be some budget developments by the time of next week’s IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne. The Tokyo 2020 leader is scheduled to report to the board about the progress of preparations that were put under the microscope at this week’s IOC inspection.

He also said Tokyo 2020 would next week confirm the venues for the five new sports that have been added to the Games program. They are: baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing.

"We would like the IOC executive board to admire the additional events venues," he said.

In one area at least, the IOC has plenty to applaud Tokyo 2020. Its commercial tie-ups are leading to record revenues. The Games currently has 42 domestic partners – 15 tier one and 27 tier two – with more to come.

The IOC’s 4th coordination commission to Tokyo will take place in June 2017.

Reported by Mark Bisson and Hironori Hashimoto

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