東京オリンピック2020年：借金を増やす Tokyo Olympics 2020: run up more into debts
Fitch Revises Outlook on Japan to Negative; Affirms at ‘A’
Tue 28 Jul, 2020
Fitch projects that Japan’s gross general government debt (GGGD) ratio will rise by 26pp in 2020, to around 259% of GDP, and stabilise just above 260% in 2021-22
full text @
(NHK 2018年) 10月04日
Tokyo Olympics estimated to cost 7 times over budget
October 5, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
TOKYO — The national expenditure for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is estimated to reach 801.1 billion yen, the Board of Audit revealed on Oct. 4, a figure more than seven times the earlier budget estimate of 112.7 billion yen that the government has indicated. If the spending by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the organizing committee is combined, the total expenditure is likely to reach 3 trillion yen.
The board has asked the government to review the relationship between the Games and related programs to show an overall picture of the cost.
Earlier, the Tokyo events were calculated to cost 1.35 trillion yen, and the metropolitan government and the organizing committee agreed to shoulder 600 billion yen each while the central government was to foot the remaining 150 billion yen. The metropolitan government estimated that it will have to pay an additional 810 billion yen for related costs.
Meanwhile, the central government has announced that the estimated spending for the international athletic event was 112.7 billion yen from fiscal 2016 to 2018 budgets to cover 41 programs that “contribute directly to the management and the promotion of the Games.” This figure, however, does not include spending on relevant programs such as the special training measures for next generation athletes. It also covers only part of the costs for doping countermeasures.
The Board of Audit bases its latest estimate on data obtained from government ministries and agencies, and covers 70 initiatives in 15 areas such as “security improvements” and “heat countermeasures and initiatives for the environment.” As a result, the board concluded that a total of 286 programs from fiscal 2013 through 2017 cost 801.1 billion yen.
If spending in later fiscal years and expenditures by other local governments concerned are included, the total money needed is likely to balloon to around 3 trillion yen.
The 70 initiatives the board examined include those that don’t seem to have a direct connection with the Olympics and Paralympics such as “effective public relations programs for ‘Cool Japan’ measures,” while they don’t include spending that should be linked to the Games, such as the money needed for refurbishment costs for the Yoyogi National Stadium. The board, therefore, asked the government to review the way it categorizes calculating costs for the Olympic and Paralympic budget.
The board examination also found other problems with individual programs. For example, there were only 269 doping testers allocated although about 500 of them would be needed for the Games. The budget examiners also pointed out that no repair plan and maintenance funds needed after the event are set aside for the new national stadium under construction in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward.
A Cabinet Office official said the board’s estimate includes spending on measures with little link with the international athletic meeting, but added that the office “would like to see what can be done through consultations with other ministries and agencies.”
(Japanese original by Toru Watanabe, City News Department)
I, as a Japonisme artist, and van Gogh
今年の風間サチコ展のレビューを参考、see also this year’s review about KAZAMA Sachiko’s exhibition:
優作「ディスリンピック2680」@ 風間サチコ展・「原爆の図 丸木美術館」
KAZAMA Sachiko’s Excellent “Dislympia 2680” @ Hiroshima Panels – Maruki Museum
up-date: MARCH 31, 2020
Exclusive: Japan businessman paid $8.2 million by Tokyo Olympics bid lobbied figure at center of French corruption probe
TOKYO/PARIS (Reuters) – A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, which was postponed last week due to the coronavirus, said he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid.
Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu Inc, was paid $8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, according to financial records reviewed by Reuters. Takahashi told Reuters his work included lobbying International Olympic Committee members like Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital cameras and a Seiko watch.
“They’re cheap,” he said.
The payments made Takahashi the single largest recipient of money from the Tokyo bid committee, which was mostly funded by Japanese companies. After his involvement in Tokyo’s successful campaign, Takahashi was named to the board of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, a group tasked with running the summer Games after it was awarded to Japan.
Takahashi acknowledged receiving the payments but declined to give a full accounting of how he used the money. He said he urged Diack to support the Tokyo bid and denied any impropriety in those dealings. He said it was normal to provide gifts as a way of currying good relations with important officials like Diack. He said there was nothing improper with the payments he received or with the way he used the money.
“You don’t go empty-handed. That’s common sense,” Takahashi told Reuters, referring to the gifts he gave Diack.
Banking records from the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, which were examined by Reuters, show it paid around $46,500 to Seiko Watch. A senior official at the bid told Reuters “good” watches were handed out at parties organized as part of Tokyo’s campaign to win the Olympics, although he did not specify the brand.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations allowed for the giving of gifts of nominal value at the time of the 2020 bid, but didn’t stipulate a specific amount.
A day before the 2013 vote on the host city, Diack informed a meeting of African Olympic representatives that he planned to support Tokyo on merit, a lawyer for the influential Senegalese sports figure told Reuters. But he didn’t instruct anyone how to vote, the lawyer said.
The Tokyo bid committee also paid $1.3 million to a little-known non-profit institute run by former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, a powerful figure in Japanese sports and the head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee.
The payments to Takahashi’s company and Mori’s non-profit are enumerated in banking records from the Tokyo 2020 bid committee examined by Reuters. The payments were first reported by Japanese magazine Facta. French investigators have not questioned anyone about the payments to the Japanese recipients.
The banking records were provided to French prosecutors by Japan’s government as part of France’s investigation into whether Tokyo’s bid committee paid $2.3 million through a Singaporean consultant to win Diack’s support for Japan to host the 2020 Games.
Diack, 86, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer said Diack “denies all allegations of bribery.”
The French are also investigating Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, on suspicion that he received the bulk of the money paid to the Singaporean consultant, and passed money on to his father to secure votes for Tokyo. Diack’s son has also denied any wrongdoing and said via email that he would “deliver my version in courts!!!”
Mori did not respond to questions from Reuters. A representative of Mori’s non-profit said the entity was paid by the bid committee to “mainly analyze international information.”
Nobumoto Higuchi, the secretary general of the bid committee, said Takahashi earned commissions on the corporate sponsorships he collected for the bid. “Takahashi has connections,” Higuchi said. “We needed someone who understands the business world.”
The International Olympic Committee said it would not have been made aware of payments between private parties or gifts given to IOC members.
Olympic preparations have cost Japanese taxpayers some $13 billion, and the delay of the Games has rattled corporate sponsors, who had paid a record $3 billion to be affiliated with the Olympics as of June last year.
Mori and Takahashi were central to Tokyo’s bid to win the Olympics, a campaign that began in 2011 and became a national priority under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mori has publicly recounted how he lobbied a key International Olympic Committee official ahead of the vote.
Since 2015, French prosecutors have been investigating Diack, formerly the head of the international body governing track and field. Diack has also been accused of taking a separate $2 million bribe to corral votes for Rio de Janeiro in that city’s successful bid to hold the Olympics in 2016. He has been under house arrest in France since charges of corruption linked to sports doping – when he headed the International Association of Athletics Federations – were brought against him in 2015.
Diack’s lawyer said his client “did not receive any money from anyone relating to the Olympic Games in Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro.”
Tsunekazu Takeda, who headed Tokyo’s bid committee, is also under investigation by the French on suspicion of authorizing the payments from the bid committee to the Singaporean consultant that investigators suspect acted as an intermediary to get money to Diack. Takeda resigned from both the Japanese Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee last year and has denied wrongdoing, saying he believed the payments were for legitimate lobbying efforts.
Takeda’s lawyer said he did not instruct Takahashi to lobby Diack and was unaware of any gifts given by Takahashi to Diack. “Mr. Takeda has never approved such things,” the lawyer said.
Abe promised full cooperation with the French investigation, which is part of a long-running probe of corruption in international sports, including the cover-up of doping cases involving Russian athletes.
Privately, Renaud Van Ruymbeke, the French magistrate who led the investigation until June last year, had complained that Japanese prosecutors did not provide all the information the French investigators were seeking, according to internal transcripts related to the probe reviewed by Reuters. The magistrate, the current French judge overseeing the case, and Japan’s justice ministry all declined to comment.
In response to questions from Reuters, the International Olympic Committee said it supported “the French judicial authorities and needs to respect the confidentiality of the process.” It added that it was “partie civile” to the proceedings, meaning it views itself as a potential victim and could seek compensation.
A 2016 investigation into the payments made by the Tokyo bid committee, which was conducted by a third-party panel convened by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), found no evidence of wrongdoing. The JOC probe was criticized by an outside group of legal and compliance experts for not being thorough enough. The report that resulted from the JOC probe did not examine payments to Takahashi or the Jigoro Kano Memorial International Sport Institute, the non-profit sports institute run by Mori.
The JOC said it was separate from the bid committee and had no knowledge of payments made to Takahashi’s company and Mori’s non-profit.
Asked about the payments, an organizing committee spokesman said the bid committee had been disbanded and the organizing committee was “not in a position to know the details of the bidding activities.”
‘WINING AND DINING’
In a series of interviews with Reuters, Takahashi, 75, described how he became involved in the Tokyo bid. He said he was brought on as a consultant by bid-committee chief Takeda. Takahashi said one of his main assets was the connections he had built to Diack and other powerful figures in international sports during a career developing Dentsu’s sports marketing business.
Takeda’s lawyer said he “knows nothing” about the contract between Takahashi and the bid committee, except for the fact that “a contract on marketing activities existed.”
Takahashi said he was paid through his company, Commons Inc, by the Tokyo bid committee for “wining and dining” people who could further Tokyo’s bid, and for marketing and other activities related to Tokyo’s Olympic campaign.
The payments were in part “a commission fee” for his role in gathering sponsors to fund Tokyo’s bid, he said. “I didn’t pay any money to anybody. This is my profit.”
Takahashi said he asked Diack to support the Tokyo bid, but denied that he paid bribes or did anything wrong. He said he believed Diack wanted to vote for Tokyo because of Takahashi’s support for the International Association of Athletics Federations when Takahashi was a Dentsu executive. The Monaco-based organization, which governs track and field and is now called World Athletics, was run by Diack until 2015.
Asked how he used the payments he received from the Tokyo bid committee, Takahashi said he was under no obligation to detail what he did with the money. “One day before I die, I will tell you,” he said.
The Kano institute headed by Mori, which received $1.3 million from Tokyo’s bid committee, was named after a judo master who spearheaded the ultimately scrapped effort to bring the 1940 Olympics to Tokyo. It has one staff member, Tamie Ohashi.
Ohashi told Reuters the money was used by the institute to hire a U.S.-based consulting firm and two individual consultants to support the Tokyo 2020 bid. She said she didn’t know why the institute, and not the Tokyo bid committee, hired the consultants, and declined to name them.
The institute’s website does not list any activities explicitly linked to the bid. Ohashi also said the institute paid for research that would help Tokyo’s campaign.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Akihiro Nishimura, said the government could not answer questions about the bid committee’s activities. He said questions about payments to Takahashi and the Kano institute should be directed to the JOC and the Tokyo metropolitan government, because they mainly led the effort.
A Tokyo metropolitan government official said Tokyo and the bid committee had separate roles during the Olympic bid and since lobbying was handled by the bid committee, the metropolitan government was not familiar with these activities.
Oxford study: Tokyo Olympics are most costly Summer Games
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 4, 2020
The Tokyo Olympics are already the most expensive Summer Games on record with costs set to go higher, a wide-ranging study from Britain’s University of Oxford indicates.
The Tokyo cost overrun already exceeds 200 percent, lead author Bent Flyvbjerg explained in an interview with The Associated Press. This is even before several billion more dollars are added on from the one-year delay from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Oxford numbers. Tokyo’s spending is at $15.84 billion, already surpassing the 2012 London Olympics, which were the most expensive summer games to date at $14.95 billion. He expects several billion more from the cost of the one-year delay.
Tokyo organizers say officially they are spending $12.6 billion. However, a national auditor says the actual costs are twice that high, made up of some expenses that the Oxford study omits because they are not constant between different Olympics.
Tokyo said the cost would be $7.3 billion when it won the bid in 2013.
“They (IOC) obviously don’t like our results, but it’s very difficult to counter a piece of rigorous research like this,” Flyvbjerg said. “And they haven’t done that, and they can’t do that. Our research is a problem for them.”
full text @
No quarantine for athletes in Tokyo Games
#Japan #World #Coronavirus #Sports #Tokyo 2020
The Japanese government is considering exempting a mandatory two-week quarantine for athletes who will arrive in Japan for next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The government has drafted a plan to ease regulations involving the coronavirus pandemic for the Tokyo Games that have been postponed until next year.
The plan says athletes will not be asked to observe a two-week self-isolation after arrival, which would negatively affect their performance.
People related to the Games will be categorized into three groups in terms of how to prevent infection: Athletes, coaches and referees in the first group; Games officials in the second group; and spectators in the third group.
The government will consider asking athletes and Games officials to stay within the Olympic Village and avoid going out.
The government will also consider how to conduct coronavirus PCR tests for those taking part in the Games.
The government has set up a taskforce with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the 2020 organizing committee to work out the details of immigration procedures and coronavirus testing for the Tokyo Games.
The taskforce will hold its first meeting on Friday, and plans to issue an interim report by the end of this year.
Japan’s Dentsu lobbied for and funded campaign for Tokyo games, documents show, despite Olympics contract
REUTERS October 15, 2020
TOKYO/NEW YORK–Dentsu Group Inc. donated more than $6 million to Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, according to bank records seen by Reuters, and it lobbied members of the International Olympic Committee on behalf of the city, according to three people involved in the lobbying. The activities created a potential conflict of interest for the Japanese advertising company, which had a separate contract with the IOC to market the games.
To assist in its effort, Dentsu endorsed the hiring of a Singaporean consultant by the Tokyo Olympic campaign. The company’s role is laid out in transcripts of interviews company executives gave to investigators appointed by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to examine whether there had been any wrongdoing in the course of Tokyo’s campaign. French prosecutors investigating corruption in global sports suspect that the consultant, Tan Tong Han, played a role in bribing Olympic voters for Tokyo in 2013, according to two people familiar with the French probe. Tan did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.
Until now, Dentsu has played down its involvement with the Tokyo campaign. In answer to questions from Reuters, the company said its employees only provided advice, when asked, on “several experts and consultants in the sports field,” including Tan. But in the months leading up to the IOC vote to award the Olympics in 2013, Dentsu played a much more active role, according to the three people involved in lobbying and campaign bank records, even as it maintained its longstanding business relationship with the IOC. That placed it on both sides of a competitive bid, a possible conflict under IOC guidelines.
Article 10 of the IOC’s rules of conduct for cities vying to host the games states that its top tier of advertisers and marketing partners “shall refrain from supporting or promoting any of the cities” in order to “preserve the integrity and neutrality” of the bidding process.
The IOC told Reuters last month that Dentsu was not a marketing partner between 2011 and 2013, when Tokyo was bidding to host the 2020 Olympics and therefore not subject to that rule. However, Kiyoshi Nakamura, a senior Dentsu executive, told JOC investigators in 2016 that his company was an IOC marketing partner at the time of the bid, according to the transcript of his interview seen by Reuters.
The IOC did not respond to questions from Reuters on whether its ethics commission, the body which would make a ruling on any conflict of interest, looked at Dentsu’s activities during Tokyo’s 2020 bid.
Nakamura told Japanese investigators that the IOC had what he called an “adult understanding” of Dentsu’s role in working directly with the Tokyo campaign. “They (the IOC) told us not to do it publicly,” Nakamura told investigators, according to the transcript of his 2016 interview seen by Reuters and not previously reported. He did not specify who at the IOC told the Tokyo campaign that.
In 2013, Dentsu transferred $6.2 million into the Tokyo campaign’s sponsorship account, according to bank records seen by Reuters. The previously undisclosed contribution was more than 10 percent of the total that bid sponsors provided.
In a statement to Reuters, Dentsu confirmed the payment, but declined to specify the amount. “We provided a donation in response to a request for support from the bid committee, after an adequate internal corporate process,” Dentsu said in a statement. It did not say how the money was used.
Dentsu said its staff had provided “advice and information to the bid committee” when requested but had no official consulting role. The company said its activities during Tokyo’s campaign adhered to the IOC’s rules of conduct and, to its understanding, did not infringe on the rule that prohibited IOC sponsors and marketing partners from supporting or promoting any candidate cities involved in an Olympic bid.
The IOC told Reuters that Dentsu had been “contracted by the IOC to deliver services which were not linked to the candidature of any city.”
Winning the Olympics for Tokyo was one of Shinzo Abe’s signature accomplishments as prime minister. The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to take place this summer, has been delayed to 2021 because of the pandemic. Yoshihide Suga, who succeeded Abe last month, has said he would do “whatever it takes” to host the event next year.
The question of whether bribes were paid to secure the Tokyo games remains a focus for French investigators, who are scrutinizing Dentsu’s role, according to a person with knowledge of the probe. Emmanuelle Fraysse, secretary general of France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, declined to comment on an ongoing investigation. Dentsu said it had not been contacted by French prosecutors.
The IOC declined to comment on whether bribes were paid in relation to Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic campaign. It said it was co-operating with the French investigation.
‘THIS GUY IS VERY GOOD’
Dentsu stood to benefit from an Olympics on its own turf. It played a central role in planning and promoting the Tokyo games and has raised a record $3 billion-plus in corporate sponsorship for the event, according to the IOC, putting it in a position to collect large commissions on the amounts paid by sponsors.
The investigators hired by the JOC to look into whether any corruption took place in the Tokyo bid found no wrongdoing in a final report made public on Sept. 1, 2016. The records from the JOC probe, including the transcript of interviews, were never given to French prosecutors, people with knowledge of that probe said. The JOC told Reuters that it was not able to share materials from the investigation with French investigators.
Former JOC chief Tsunekazu Takeda was put under ‘formal investigation’ by French prosecutors, a French judicial source told Reuters last year, because he signed off on hiring Tan, the Singaporean consultant. Takeda stepped down from both the IOC and the JOC last year. Takeda’s lawyer, Stephane Bonifassi, said Takeda denied any wrongdoing.
Nakamura, who ran Dentsu’s sports business at the time of the campaign, told JOC investigators that Dentsu “knew the most” about IOC members and wanted to assist the Japanese cause.
Dentsu oversaw the lobbying of some IOC members for their votes, three former Tokyo bid lobbyists told Reuters, focusing on IOC members affiliated with swimming and track and field federations for which Dentsu already provided marketing services.
One of the lobbyists, Haruyuki Takahashi, who was formerly Nakamura’s boss at Dentsu and himself a member of Tokyo’s campaign, told Reuters that Nakamura was in charge of securing the support of Uruguay’s Julio Cesar Maglione, an IOC member and the head of the international swimming federation, and Ukrainian former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, a senior vice president at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the global governing body for track and field.
Nakamura did not directly respond to questions from Reuters sent through Dentsu’s representatives. Dentsu said Nakamura did not approach Maglione or Bubka. Maglione said in an email to Reuters that he exercised his responsibilities “without any pressure.” Bubka said he was not involved in Tokyo’s bid to win the Olympics. “I have always acted correctly and ethically,” he told Reuters.
One of the questions the French are seeking to answer is how the consultant Tan came to work for the Tokyo bid. Two people familiar with the French probe told Reuters that investigators suspect the $2.3 million Tokyo’s campaign committee paid Tan was then sent by Tan to Papa Massata Diack, the son of IOC member Lamine Diack, to buy votes for Tokyo. At the time Lamine Diack also served as the president of the IAAF, which has since been rebranded as World Athletics.
Papa Massata Diack has denied wrongdoing and told Reuters he was not cooperating with any investigation regarding the Tokyo Olympics. Simon Ndiaye, a lawyer for Lamine Diack in France, told Reuters Diack had nothing to do with allegations of bribery in the games.
Lamine Diack was convicted in France on Sept. 16 in a separate case for covering up Russian doping in return for bribes. He was sentenced to at least two years in jail. His son, Papa Massata Diack, is living in Senegal, which refused to extradite him to France to stand trial in the doping case. France’s probe into the Tokyo bid is continuing.
Nakamura, the Dentsu executive, told JOC investigators in 2016 that he was asked for his opinion on Tan by two members of Tokyo’s campaign. Nakamura said he replied that Tan had done good work on other major sports events and he conveyed his support for hiring the consultant to Nobumoto Higuchi, at the time the secretary general of the Tokyo bid. The transcript of Nakamura’s interview shows he also told the JOC investigators that Tan could “secure” certain IOC members, including Bubka, although he said he did not share that observation with Higuchi.
In interviews with Reuters, both Higuchi and his deputy, Kohei Torita, said Dentsu’s input was key to Tan’s hiring. According to the transcript, Torita told investigators: “We wanted to do this after Mr. Nakamura said ‘this guy is very good.’”
Dentsu denied it played an active role in hiring Tan or coordinated contact with him. In a statement to Reuters, Dentsu said: “It is not true to say that our company was coordinating communication between the bid committee and Tan.”
In a joint statement, Tokyo bid officials Higuchi and Torita said the committee’s relationship with Dentsu was appropriate. They did not respond to detailed questions about what they and others told the JOC investigators.
After retaining Tan in July 2013, Torita said officials involved in Tokyo’s campaign had no direct communication with him. “After that, Dentsu stepped in as an intermediary,” coordinating on communications and invoices, the former Tokyo campaign official told JOC investigators, according to transcripts of interviews seen by Reuters. Both Torita and Nakamura from Dentsu told the investigators Dentsu had frequent contacts with Tan’s company, Black Tidings.
At the end of July, Takeda approved the first payment to Black Tidings, a transfer of nearly $1 million, bank records seen by Reuters show.
Shortly after Tokyo won the Olympics in September 2013, Dentsu contacted officials working for Tokyo’s campaign to relay Tan’s request for additional payment, Torita said, without identifying the officials.
A month later, Tan received a second payment of $1.3 million from Tokyo’s campaign committee, bank records show. Torita, who created the contract for the payment, told JOC investigators it was a “success fee” paid to consultants after Tokyo clinched the Games.
The contract, dated Oct. 4, 2013, seen by Reuters, says the payment was for a report analyzing the campaign. It does not mention a success fee.
2020年12月15日 5時02分 選挙
OLYMPICS/ Official costs of Tokyo Games up by 22% to 1.64 trillion yen
The official cost of the postponed Tokyo Olympics has increased by 22%, the local organizing committee said in unveiling its new budget on Tuesday.
In an online news conference, organizers said the Olympics will cost 1.64 trillion yen ($15.4 billion) to stage. This is up from $12.6 billion in last year’s budget.
The added $2.8 billion is the cost of the one-year delay. Expenses come from renegotiating contracts and measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Olympics are to open on July 23. The Paralympics follow on Aug. 24.
Audits by the Japanese government over the last several years, however, show the costs are higher than officially stated and are at least $25 billion.
Tokyo said the Olympics would cost about $7.5 billion when the IOC awarded the games in 2013. A University of Oxford study this year said Tokyo is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record.
“The Tokyo Olympics are operating in a very tough environment,” Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said when asked about the record costs. Muto suggested the games should be looked at as an investment rather than a cost.
Japanese government entities are responsible for all of the costs except for $6.7 billion in a privately funded operating budget.
“The IOC and TOCOG (Tokyo organizing committee) want the public budget to appear as small as possible not only to guard against public criticism, but also to not discourage future candidate cities,” Franz Waldenberger, director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, wrote in a recent paper examining Olympic costs.
Waldenberger noted the Tokyo city government and branches of the central government use the Olympics as “a window of opportunity to obtain additional” funding.
Organizers in October announced cost reductions of $280 million, cutting out frills including hospitality offerings. However, no cuts have been made to the sports program with a full complement of 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of officials, judges, and sponsors expected to attend.
Muto acknowledged the cost had increased for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics. Organizers were expected to report a figure later in the week. Japan’s Kyodo news agency, citing sources close to the committee, reported the increase is about $33 million.
Decisions about fans and preventive measures for the pandemic are expected to be rolled out in the spring. Reduced fan numbers will affect ticket sales, a major source of income.
Japan has controlled COVID-19 better than most countries with 3,000 deaths attributed to the virus. That milestone was reached on Tuesday. New cases have been rising for a month, adding to public skepticism about the Olympics.
In a telephone poll of 1,200 people published this month by Japanese broadcaster NHK, 63% said the Olympics should be postponed again or canceled, and 27% said the games should be held. The poll was conducted on Dec. 11-13.
The IOC and local organizers have said the Olympics will be canceled if they cannot be held this time.
Local organizers are trying to recover some of the rising costs by coaxing more revenue from domestic sponsors. About 70 sponsors have already contributed a record $3.3 billion, driven by Dentsu Inc. the marketing agent for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Nikkei newspaper reported last week, citing unnamed sources “familiar with the matter,” that 15 top-tier domestic sponsors will add an estimated $150 million to their contributions. It said Japan Airlines, ANA airline, and the Tobu Skytower were considering contributions.
Nikkei is also a Tokyo Olympic sponsor along with Japan’s other leading newspapers Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Asahi. Several regional papers are also sponsors.
“We would like to increase revenue more than expected although it is challenging,” Gakuji Ito, the organizing committee chief financial officer, said.
Ito said insurance coverage might pay out up to $500 million to help cover increased costs.
All expenses the organizing committee cannot cover will fall to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Ito said.
The budget shows the International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion to cover costs of the games. Its contribution to Tokyo will not increase, Ito said.
Ito was asked if he would seek more money from the IOC.
“No, we are not thinking about it,” he replied.
The IOC’s finances are stressed. It generates 91% of its income from selling broadcast rights and sponsorships. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has stalled its revenue flow, increasing the importance of staging the Olympics in Tokyo.
The Beijing Winter Olympics open six months after Tokyo closes, in February 2022.
The IOC is also under pressure to support national Olympic committees and international sports federations, many of which rely heavily on IOC contributions.
アップデート up-date 2021/2/13
‘Just replacing Tokyo Games chief won’t solve problem’: Japanese Olympian warns
February 12, 2021
TOKYO — While Yoshiro Mori announced his resignation as president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on Feb. 12 to take responsibility for his sexist remarks, Yuko Arimori, a two-time Olympic medalist in the women’s marathon, warns that just replacing the president would not be a fundamental solution to the problem.
“If they think they can get away with it just by replacing the president (of the organizing committee), the same problem would be repeated,” Arimori, 54, said during a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, referring to the move to appoint a new committee president following Mori’s formal resignation. The exchange took place before Mori officially announced on Feb. 12 that he will step down.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a festival to wish for peace for people’s bodies and minds through sports events. They are different from world championships and other competitions to decide the world’s best athletes. Not only athletes but all those involved in the (Olympic and Paralympic) games are the main actors, and the games are also an opportunity with educational value to raise issues to the whole world,” said Arimori, a winner of the silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“In particular, the upcoming Tokyo Games aim to contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the principle of gender equality, for the first time in the history of the Summer Games. This goal was aimed at allowing respect for diversity to take root in Japanese society. Mr. Mori’s recent remarks ran counter to those principles,” she said.
Arimori, also a winner of the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sport Awards in 2010 for her contribution to women’s participation in sports among other merits, continued, “The question here was whether Mr. Mori understood empathy for society today and the Olympic principles. For this reason, his understanding that he could get away with it just by retracting his remarks that ‘board meetings with many women in them drag on’ was insufficient.
“This issue poses a challenge to not only Mr. Mori but also all concerned bodies including the organizing committee. Tokyo made a successful bid for the games precisely because it understood the Olympic principles. That being so, I believe it has become the mandate to demonstrate how many personnel there are in the organizing committee who understand those principles and are willing to send out messages to society carefully with a greater passion.
“Whether Mr. Mori resigns or stays on, nothing would change unless the organizing committee understands the fundamental implications of the latest problem. If they think they can get away with it just by replacing the president, the same problem would be repeated. The organizing committee must deliver messages carefully that can reach out to all corners of society, regarding what it is aiming to achieve and what kind of principles it espouses. Otherwise, the situation would not change.
“This is an important matter regardless of whether we can hold the Olympics or not. Unless Tokyo can propagate the Olympic principles that are firmly committed to society, the future of the Olympics would be in peril. It appears the focus now is solely on the fate of Mr. Mori, and what really matters has been disregarded,” she said.
Tokyo Olympics hit by another scandal over sexist comment
Thursday, 18 March 2021
It is yet another setback for the postponed games and another involving comments about women
Tokyo Olympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki is resigning after making demeaning comments about a well-known female celebrity.
It is yet another setback for the postponed games and another involving comments about women. The Olympics are to open in just over four months, dogged by the pandemic, record costs, and numerous scandals.
In February, the president of the organising committee Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign after making sexist comments, saying women talk too much in meetings.
Two years ago, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda was also forced to step down in a bribery scandal connected to vote-buying involving International Olympic Committee members.
Sasaki was in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, which are to begin on July 23. Last year he told planning staff members that well-known entertainer Naomi Watanabe could perform in the ceremony as an “Olympig”.
Watanabe is a heavy-set woman and very famous in Japan, and “Olympig” was a play on the word “Olympic”.
Sasaki released a statement early on Thursday saying he was stepping down. He said he had also called Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organising committee, and tendered his resignation.
“For Ms. Naomi Watanabe, my idea and comments are a big insult. And it is unforgivable,” Sasaki said.
“I offer my deepest regrets and apologise from the depth of my heart to her, and those who may have been offended by this.”
“It is truly regrettable, and I apologise from the bottom of my heart,” he added.
Hashimoto, who replaced Mori, was scheduled to speak later on Thursday.
Sasaki formerly worked for the giant Japanese advertising company Dentsu Inc., which has been a key supporter of these Olympics. It is the official marketing partner and has helped to raise a record of $3.5 billion in local sponsorship, almost three times as much as any previous Olympics.
The torch relay for the Olympics kicks off next week from northeastern Japan and will be a severe test with 10,000 runners crisscrossing Japan for four months, heading to the opening ceremony and trying to avoid spreading COVID-19.
Organisers and the IOC insist the Olympics will go forward during the pandemic with 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes entering Japan. Official costs for Tokyo are $15.4 billion but several government audits show the real cost might be twice that much.
A University of Oxford study says Tokyo is the most expensive Olympics on record.
9 governors say Tokyo Games should be canceled, delayed depending on circumstances: poll
May 4, 2021
TOKYO — Nine of Japan’s 47 prefectural governors think the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games should be canceled or postponed depending on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Mainichi Shimbun survey. Of the nine, the prefectures of Saitama, Shizuoka, and Yamanashi are set to provide venues for the upcoming games.
The Mainichi Shimbun sent the questionnaire to all 47 governors on April 20, and received answers from them all by April 28. The first question asked what their thoughts on holding the games as governors who are expected to protect their residents’ health, and respondents could choose between answering four options: The games should be held whatever the circumstances of the pandemic; should be canceled or postponed depending on the circumstances; now is the time to decide to cancel or postpone, and I don’t know.
The nine saying it should be canceled or postponed based on circumstances were the governors of Akita, Ibaraki, Saitama, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka, Tottori, Oita, and Okinawa. Five governors said they didn’t know, and none chose the other options.
The second question asked if each prefecture stood to gain if the games were held; 41 governors, including the nine who said the games should be canceled or postponed depending on circumstances, replied “yes” or “somewhat yes.”
Gov. Motohiro Ono of Saitama — which is planned to host Olympic golf, basketball, soccer, and shooting events — added to his answer: “We’re providing the most venues after Tokyo. While doing our best to prepare a safe and secure event, we need to keep an eye on the situation and calmly make a decision.”
Shizuoka Prefecture will host cycling; Gov. Heita Kawakatsu responded: “If infections continue spreading and it becomes clear for all to see that holding the games is impossible, then we’ll have no choice but to cancel or postpone.” Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa made similar remarks.
Gov. Shinji Hirai of Tottori Prefecture, which has the second lowest infection numbers nationwide, gave his thoughts: “Promoting world peace through sports is significant, but the priority is for all nations to cooperate and get this pandemic under control.”
The governors of five prefectures — Toyama, Okayama, Hiroshima, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima — chose “I don’t know.” The remaining 33 did not select from the prepared answers, and instead suggested that it was up to the Japanese government, the organizers, or the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to make the decision.
“We’re not in a position to decide,” wrote the governor of Fukui. Gifu’s governor said, “The organizers and others should come to a conclusion.” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike also didn’t choose an answer, writing, “We are all in the fight to suppress the pandemic, and we will continue to prepare a safe and secure event.”
Regarding the second question asking if there are merits to the games being held, the Mainichi Shimbun prepared four choices: Yes, somewhat yes, somewhat no and no. Governors of 31 prefectures chose yes, while 10 picked somewhat yes and gave reasons including that it has “a positive impact on sports promotion” or “publicity abroad.” Governors in Tochigi, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Shimane, and Saga neither answered nor picked from fixed options. None chose somewhat no or no.
The Olympics and Paralympics are scheduled to take place July 23 to September 5. Questions are being raised over whether they should be held on schedule following public outcry over organizers’ moves to call for doctors and nurses to help with the games while the country falls short on carrying out coronavirus vaccinations and amid insufficient treatment for COVID-19. Opinion polls in April by various media outlets showed 60% to 70% of the public supporting cancellation or rescheduling.
東京五輪・パラ、９県「感染次第で中止・延期」 「必ず開催」ゼロ 毎日新聞全国知事調査
Olympics composer who says he bullied classmates with disabilities resigns
New York Times, by Motoko Rich, 2021/7/21
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The composer of music for the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies resigned Monday after acknowledging that as a student he bullied classmates with disabilities.
Keigo Oyamada, 52, who uses the stage name Cornelius, announced on Twitter that he had handed in his resignation to the Tokyo organizing committee just four days before he was to oversee music for the opening ceremony.
Shortly after the announcement, parts of interviews he had given in the 1990s to a Japanese magazine, in which he described how he had abused classmates years earlier, surfaced on social media. The interviews quoted Oyamada saying that he had taunted children with Down syndrome, stripped classmates naked and forced them to masturbate.
With pressure building and a petition calling for his resignation, Oyamada said he had grown “keenly aware that I lacked consideration of many people when I accepted the offer to participate” in the Olympic ceremonies.
Last week, in an earlier statement issued on Twitter, Oyamada attempted to defuse growing criticism over the interviews with an apology. He said many parts of the articles “deviate from the truth.” But, he added, “there is no doubt that my classmates were hurt by my words and conduct.”
“I am deeply sorry for how my words and actions hurt my classmates and their parents,” he wrote. “I regret and take responsibility being in a position where I hurt others rather than being a friend during my school years.” He added that he had taken time to “reflect” and “reconsider.”
The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics released a statement saying that they had accepted his resignation. Initially the organizers had said that they hoped to keep working with Oyamada, despite his “unacceptable” actions.
“In light of his sincere apology, we expressed a willingness to allow Mr. Oyamada to continue his work on preparations in the short time remaining before the Opening Ceremony,” the statement said. “However, we have come to believe that this decision was wrong, and we have decided to accept his resignation. We offer our deepest apologies for the offense and confusion caused to so many during this time.”
Oyamada is the third person associated with the organizing committee to step down after a scandal in recent months.
In March, Yoshiro Mori, the former president of the Tokyo organizing committee, resigned after he suggested women talk too much in meetings, unleashing an anti-sexist firestorm.
The same month, Hiroshi Sasaki, the original creative director of opening ceremonies, was forced out after word leaked out that he had called a popular comedian and plus-size fashion designer, Naomi Watanabe, an “Olympig.” At the time, he was describing a role for her in the opening ceremonies in which she would tumble from the sky decked out in pig ears.
Friday’s ceremony at the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo is likely to be a diminished version of the original plan, given coronavirus restrictions and the absence of spectators. Organizers are struggling to combat growing public anxiety as more athletes and Olympics personnel test positive for the coronavirus.
Olympics may lose favor with Japanese due to ballooning costs
August 9, 2021
TOKYO — As the costs of the just-ended Tokyo Olympics greatly overrun initial estimates amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Japanese taxpayers eventually expected to make up for the shortfall, the quadrennial sporting event may lose favor with the country’s fans, experts say.
The Olympics were held without spectators at almost all venues amid the pandemic, meaning most of the 90 billion yen ($820 million) in estimated ticket revenues from both the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics disappeared.
The costs for the games had already ballooned due to additional outlays stemming from their one-year postponement amid the global health crisis, anti-virus measures and increased construction expenditures for the venues.
At the bidding stage, the total costs for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were estimated at 734.0 billion yen, but they had swollen to 1.64 trillion yen as of last December, including 96 billion yen for anti-virus measures.
The sum has already topped the costs for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games of about 43 billion reals ($8.2 billion) and 8.92 billion pounds ($12.4 billion) for the 2012 London Games.
Of the total, the organizing committee and the Tokyo and Japanese governments were supposed to cover 721.0 billion yen, 702.0 billion yen and 221.0 billion yen, respectively.
Although the organizers have yet to decide whether to hold the Tokyo Paralympics with or without spectators from Aug. 24, Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, said last month he believes ticket sales will only amount to several billion yen and it is certain that revenues and expenses of the events “won’t balance out.”
During the Tokyo Olympics, only 26 of the 750 sessions in total, or about 3.5 percent, were held with spectators. About 90 percent of the 90 billion yen in estimated ticket income would have come from the Olympic Games and the rest from the Paralympics, according to sources close to the matter.
Japanese are generally known as Olympic fans, but the latest Tokyo Games might go down to posterity as “the games that Japanese people came to dislike the Olympics” due partly to the cost issues, said Naofumi Masumoto, visiting professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University and Musashino University.
“It has already been decided by a contract that the host city finances the deficit (incurred by the games’ organizing committee), so basically Tokyo residents are expected to repay it by paying tax for many years,” he said.
In bidding for the games, the state was eventually planned to make up for the committee’s budget shortfall if the metropolitan government cannot cover it.
But the central and the Tokyo governments have sparred over cost-sharing from before the start of the games, with Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa expressing a negative view in May about an increase in state expenditures to that end.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said in response there should be further discussion among the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the organizing committee and her government on the issue.
“Tokyo may insist it’s not fair to place additional costs only on the metropolitan government since the state declared the virus emergency” for the capital that led to the decision to hold the Olympics mostly without spectators, said Yuji Nakamura, professor of sports administration at Utsunomiya University.
As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus rages in the country, the state of emergency was declared for Tokyo on July 12. The measure has been extended to Aug. 31, covering part of the Paralympics period.
“The state government will probably shoulder some part to settle the problem amicably,” he added.
The Tokyo metropolitan government has boasted about its abundant budget, being the only one among the country’s 47 prefectures not receiving state financial support. The capital’s general account budget stood at about 7.43 trillion yen in fiscal 2021.
But now it is alarmed about increasing fiscal stringency amid the pandemic.
The balance of the Tokyo government’s reserve funds to prepare for a future lack of financial resources amounted to 251.1 billion yen as of March, down sharply from 934.5 billion yen from a year earlier, mainly due to measures to curb the virus spread and ease its economic impact.
Nakamura also said that the IOC, whose income largely depends on broadcasting rights fees and is not directly affected by ticket sales, could “possibly offer assistance” to cover loss of the gate receipts.
He noted that the IOC has decided to bear about 2 billion yen as part of costs for moving the marathon and race walking events from Tokyo to Sapporo in northern Japan due to concerns over the capital’s extreme summer heat.
Nakamura warned that actual expenses for the games will exceed earlier estimates because he “doubts whether the organizers can accurately grasp costs for virus steps” amid the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus variants.
He also pointed out the hidden costs of the games, such as construction fees of transportation routes for event-related personnel, which are excluded as they will be used as ordinary roads after the games.
In December 2019, Japan’s Board of Audit said the state spent a total of 1.06 trillion yen between fiscal 2013 and 2018 for Olympics and Paralympics-related projects, such as those for beefing up anti-terror steps and transportation infrastructure improvement.
But Nakamura said the Japanese government and the games organizers have “made light of” the audit results.
“The IOC desperately tries to show the games-related costs as low as possible so that more cities feel easy to bid for hosting the events in the future, and the Olympic expenditures tend to be underestimated,” Nakamura said.
“I fear we end up shouldering many of the games’ costs without being given detailed explanations,” he added.
Masumoto also said Japanese people’s perception toward future Olympics could worsen given the Tokyo Games were held despite a majority of the public being opposed to staging them amid the pandemic in opinion polls.
“So far, we haven’t substantially discussed for what and whom the Olympics are for, so this time will probably be a good opportunity to reconsider it,” Masumoto said.