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Olympic torch may travel to Tokyo's outlying islands: Gov. Koike

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike answers questions during an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters on July 25, 2017. (Mainichi)

The Olympic torch may travel through all 62 wards, cities, towns, and villages in Tokyo -- including the offshore islands, Gov. Yuriko Koike disclosed in a Mainichi Shimbun interview on July 25.

    "Cooperation from The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is needed, but on behalf of the host city, I would like to see it happen," Koike said. During the 1964 Tokyo Games, the islands including those south of Tokyo's center were not included in the course for the torch.

    The governor's interview was scheduled as she prepares to complete her first year in office on Aug. 2. She also discussed the cost of the games and the recent assembly election.

    Concerning the projected budget for seven temporary facilities planned for the 2020 Games, Koike said that the metropolitan government "is continuing to look for the most efficient method" to cut costs. As part of that, she suggested that the facilities and other costs surrounding the games may be reconsidered. Currently, the metropolitan government's maximum draft budget for the temporary facilities amounts to 150 billion yen. Last year, Koike reviewed the expenses of building and remodeling three permanent facilities for the Tokyo Games.

    The governor was also asked about her role as special adviser of the Tomin First (Tokyoites First) party, which took 55 seats in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election at the beginning of the month to become the largest bloc in the assembly.

    "First of all, I am not involved in any decision-making processes (within the party)," Koike said. She then added, "When it's necessary to speedily promote a measure for the benefit of the citizens of Tokyo, isn't it best to suggest things like 'this should happen as soon as possible'?"

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