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Cut costs to attract future Olympic bidders: IOC

Tokyo: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice-President John Coates praised efforts by the organisers to lower the budget for the 2020 Summer Games, saying cost control was important for attracting future bid cities.

Figures released last month showed organisers had trimmed budget estimates to 1.685 trillion yen ($15.7 billion) including contingencies, from 1.8 trillion yen in their initial budget unveiled in December.

Coates, who attended at a meeting of the IOC Co-ordination Commission, said the IOC was pleased with the reduction as well as organisers’ emphasis on reducing costs further.

“It’s important to us that with these costs and the final analysis that become public, they’re going to be a reason to attract candidate cities,” he said. “We need to attract them to bid and not scare them off.”

In September last year, a Tokyo city government panel had warned that expenses could balloon to three trillion yen.

That would have been some four times the estimate Tokyo had made when it won the bidding in 2013, and prompted a worried IOC and local organisers to form a working group on cutting costs.

The IOC is worried soaring costs could scare off future bidders, after four cities dropped out of the 2024 race over such concerns.

“That’s not only important to you, your taxpayers and the public, but it’s very important to the IOC,” said Coates on reducing costs. “It’s for our own future that we’re doing it, just as much as you want to do it for your taxpayers.”

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