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Proposed Tokyo Olympic budget cuts draw anger

An interim report submitted by a Tokyo Metropolitan Government panel tasked with re-examining the expenses and preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics that recommends drastic reviews on the construction plans was met with a fierce backlash from sports associations.

The Olympics and Paralympics investigative team at Tokyo's administrative reform headquarters recommended major revisions to the plans for the 2020 Games on Sept. 29, including cancelling some construction of venues.

Yuko Arakida, a former volleyball national team player and a Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games official who acted as a coordinator between the committee and sports associations in and outside Japan, reportedly told a Sept. 29 committee meeting, "We have spent a long time discussing (the plans for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics) and inspecting candidate sites. I don't want some ideas that came up in ad hoc basis to destroy what we have prepared." She was also quoted as saying, "The cost-cutting measures are necessary, but there are some things we cannot compromise."

The plans for the venues were decided after a series of negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as domestic and international sports organizations. Officials from the concerned parties also inspected candidate sites for the venues. Even the IOC reportedly contacted the Tokyo organizing committee on the proposal by the metropolitan government.

Japanese Olympic Committee Secretary General Eisuke Hiraoka criticized Tokyo's investigative team, saying, "They didn't even question sports associations for their opinions (when compiling the report). What is written there appears to be based on rumors and I now have a sense of distrust (towards the metropolitan government team)."

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