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Boxes set up at ministries to collect precious metals for Olympic, Paralympic medals

Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Shunichi Suzuki places old mobile phones to be used to collect metals for Olympic medals, into a collection box at the Cabinet Office on June 15, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The government began placing boxes at ministries and agencies on June 15 to collect used mobile phones and other small electrical goods containing precious metals that will be used to make medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The collection "relay" at ministries and agencies is the latest branch of the medal project launched by the games' organizing committee in April last year to make up for a shortage of gold, silver and bronze.

    It is expected that a total of roughly 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals will be created for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some 42 kilograms of gold, 5,300 kilograms of silver and 2,700 kilograms of bronze will be required, but there is said to be a shortage of these metals.

    Shunichi Suzuki, the minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on June 15 dropped into the collection box four mobile phones that he and his family had used.

    "I want to consider a system that makes collection easy," he said.

    (Japanese original by Miaki Tsuburaya, Sports News Department)

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