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Tokyo Olympic committee spent 476 million yen to rent 2 offices in fiscal 2015

This photo shows the Toranomon Hills complex, where the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has office space, in Tokyo's Minato Ward. (Mainichi)

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games spent some 476 million yen in fiscal 2015 to rent two offices, including one in the upmarket Toranomon Hills complex in Tokyo's Minato Ward, it has been learned.

The committee announced how much it had spent to rent the office space following criticism that it was spending too much. New Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has established an in-house reform headquarters and plans to probe metropolitan government spending, extending to the committee, which is partially funded by the metropolitan government.

Reasons the committee cited for placing an office in the Toranomon Hills complex were that it met the condition of being geographically close to government buildings, it had space for meetings, there was a hotel at the complex, and it was safe for VIPs visiting from overseas.

Since the committee has added another two offices this fiscal year, the rent is expected to surge to about 715 million yen.

A representative for the committee defended the outlay, commenting, "Considering the location and the number of employees (currently about 750), it can't be labeled an unreasonable amount."

The committee disclosed that its president, Yoshiro Mori, did not receive a salary, and that he covered his own transport costs. Moreover, his allowance of 10,000 yen for each day worked is contributed, at his discretion, to be used for the benefit packages of employees.

The committee said that when the chairman attended the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympics, he flew first class in accordance with stipulations on travel expenses. Travel expenses for the entire committee in fiscal 2015 totaled about 69 million yen, while the cost of stays reached about 27 million yen. Liaison expenses, including receptions with members of the International Olympic Committee, reached about 9 million yen.

"This is the minimum necessary amount within the scope that would be considered appropriate under normal social conventions," a committee representative said.

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