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The Olympics price balloon continues to swell

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Rounded out to about a dozen zeroes, the agreed-upon figure of the total cost to host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is 3 trillion yen. 

What Shukan Post (Aug 13) wants to know is how this enormous figure breaks down, spread out, as it is, amid the complexities of the budgets projected, and then adjusted, and then readjusted by the national and Tokyo metropolitan governments and the games' organizers. 

The organizers, for example, had initially set a budget of 706 billion yen, which would be offset by contributions from corporate sponsors (406 billion yen), a payout from the International Olympic Committee (85 billion yen), sales of admission tickets (90 billion yen) and so on. On the surface at least, the funds were to be acquired without tapping into taxes. 

Meanwhile, the Tokyo metropolitan government has committed to 717 billion yen in outlays for construction of facilities, the furnishing of such things as special transport vehicles and so on. The national government had also budgeted a total of 1.644 trillion yen for construction of a new national stadium and other infrastructural costs. 

After the coronavirus pandemic flared up and the games were delayed for one year, a supplementary budget of 174.9 billion yen at the national level had to be allocated for virus countermeasures and so on. 

But wait, there's more. It seems that after the games are over, it will be necessary to modify the existing facilities, and allocate funds for other things, for what's been termed "Olympics-related expenditures." For these, met Tokyo has budgeted 734.9 billion yen. 

According to a report from the Board of Audit of Japan -- hopefully the most trustworthy source of data in these matters -- expenditures for the Olympics, at the end of the 2018 fiscal year, had reached 1.6 trillion yen. But when those "related expenditures" are added to "Olympics expenditures," the figure rises to 1.4519 trillion yen for metropolitan Tokyo and 1.3059 trillion yen for the federal government. The main sources of both of these are from taxes. 

Based on the above, then, the per capita cost to 13.97 million Tokyoites comes to 103,920 yen, or  roughly equivalent to 420,000 for a family of four. Apart from this, the per capita cost for all 125,470,000 Japanese comes to 10,408 yen. (For Tokyoites, this figure is applied in addition to the 103,920 cited above.) 

Now for the bad news....

There is a strong likelihood that the burden will increase. That's because of the shortfall in anticipated revenues such as admission ticket sales, which did not materialize due to the decision not to admit spectators. (Projected revenues from ticket sales had initially been in the range of 90 billion yen.) 

Non-fiction author Ryu Honma says that the deficit in ticket sales is really just the "starting point."

"The organizers are looking at a severe shortfall in funds, to the point that at the end of last year they had to borrow 15 billion yen from the Tokyo metropolitan government. On top of that are contracts to procure materials and supply food and drink to the venues, so it's possible the deficit will exceed 200 billion yen. The organizers, out of fear of being criticized, are holding back the bad news until after the games are over." 

Tamayo Marukawa, Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, has repeatedly stated at press gatherings and on the floor of the Diet that "It is difficult to assume that Tokyo will not make up for the deficit." Likewise Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato has been quoted as saying that if Olympics organizers face a shortfall in funding, Tokyo will make up for the difference. 

The aforementioned author, Honma, agrees that the first source of additional funds is likely to be borne by Tokyo, and if it can't pay, then the national government will take responsibility. 

"It's a fact that Tokyo is financially strapped by the Olympics and Paralympics, so in the end I suppose Tokyo and the national government will split the losses down the middle," says Honma.  

In any event, the burden of covering the losses will fall on the Japanese people. In addition to the organizer's deficits, Shukan Post points out, costs for countermeasures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic continue to swell. More than likely, costs will keep snowballing, raising the overall figure to 4 trillion yen. 

That's a pretty steep bill to pay for only being able to watch Olympic events on TV, the magazine concludes laconically.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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How about halving the politicians' salaries until its paid off?

Yeah right! and pigs will fly...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Annual defence budget ¥5.43 trillion.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

raising the overall figure to 4 trillion yen.

For people reading the English-language press and seeing other numbers in USD, 4 trillion yen is about 36 billion USD. Billions are also easier to envisage than trillions.

In a post last week, I suggested everyone in Japan was on the hook for 20,000 yen. but it sounds like there is more of a 10:1 Tokyo taxpayer:national taxpayer burden. Its going to be more like 15,000 yen or so for everyone and ten plus one (!) times that for people in Tokyo. 165,000 yen will be one month's full-time wages for some in Tokyo.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about the cost of tending to the ones who will be and are getting sick from this superspreader disaster?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hey, I only pay taxes, I have no right to complain.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hey, I enjoy watching the Olympics, but 30 or 40 billion USD is way too much.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Must admit that I have been impressed by some of the facilities they are showing for different events around the country. They had kept those well hidden!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Annual defence budget ¥5.43 trillion.

One month undokai, ¥4 trillion.

Cleaning up Fukushima, ¥22 trillion.

It's almost cheaper to invade a middle eastern country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This financial estimate report is incomplete or failing to identify who gains and benefits while Tokyo is running red. Money does not vanish, only moves to and fro.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shocking? None of it should be, not even the final amount , which we may not know for some time, because this is almost always the case. Whatever low-ball figure they start with, just multiply by four or five and that will always be the closer amount.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A lot could have been done for the economy ravaged by COVID and the disaster hit areas for 3 trillion yen instead of paying for this circus!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Olympics price balloon continues to swell.

If anyone is surprised by this you haven't been paying attention to the many previous olympics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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