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Tokyo gov't may now pay for some temporary Olympic facilities

The Ariake district of Koto Ward, Tokyo, where the Ariake Gymnastics Centre and other Olympics and Paralympics facilities will be built, is pictured in this file photo taken from a Mainichi helicopter. (Mainichi)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering footing part of the costs for building temporary facilities in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, top metropolitan government officials suggested.

"The metropolitan government should pay what it should pay," Gov. Yuriko Koike told the Mainichi Shimbun.

"In the past, host cities shouldered certain amounts of expenses," a senior official of the metropolitan government said.

Seven of the temporary facilities, including the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Koto Ward, will be built within the capital. The metropolitan government estimates that the costs of building temporary facilities will be up to 150 billion yen. If the metropolitan government decides to partially foot the bill, Tokyo will be required to spend a massive amount of funds that come from local taxes for the construction.

Japan's candidate file for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics stated that the expenses of building temporary facilities and remodeling existing facilities for the Games would be funded using part of revenue that the organizing committee will gain from sponsors -- estimated at around 500 billion yen -- instead of Tokyo taxpayers' money.

However, the estimated costs of organizing the Olympics and Paralympics have snowballed because of sharp rises in construction material and personnel expenses, raising the possibility that the organizing committee cannot raise enough funds to build the planned facilities.

A now defunct investigation team within the metropolitan government's administrative reform headquarters pointed out that it was unrealistic for the organizing committee to fully foot the construction costs and recommended last September that the metropolitan government bear the costs of building temporary facilities in the capital.

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