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Tokyo Games organizers to rule out combining Olympic, Paralympic ceremonies

A man wearing a mask is reflected on a monitor displaying the Tokyo Olympic, left, and Paralympic emblems in Tokyo, on March 13, 2020. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The organizing committee of the postponed Tokyo Games is set to rule out the idea of combining the opening and closing ceremonies of next year's Olympics and Paralympics in order to cut costs, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

With the events postponed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, several members of the ceremony's creative team had proposed holding one opening and one closing ceremony for both the Olympics and Paralympics as a way to potentially cut costs.

However, the organizing committee sees the desire of both the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee to hold separate ceremonies as an obstacle, a source said.

In addition, a joint ceremony would require Paralympians to arrive in Japan a month early and would be complicated by broadcasting rights issues.

The games organizers have been reviewing the content and the cost of the ceremonies, which could run as high as 13 billion yen ($119 million). They are now working toward four separate but more streamlined ceremonies.

The Olympics are now slated to be held from July 23 to Aug. 8 next year, with the Paralympic Games following between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5.

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