Two years before Japan is set to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the cost of putting on the next Winter Games has almost quadrupled since the country successfully bid for the Olympics in 2013, and a national government report indicates the final budget could exceed $25 billion.
As Mari Yamaguchi and Stephen Wade reported for the Associated Press on Tuesday, local organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) maintain that costs are being cut for the 2020 Games, but a Board of Audit report from Japan estimates total spending for the Tokyo Olympics is up to "2.81 trillion yen, or just under $25 billion."
When Tokyo won the bid to host the Games in 2013, hosting costs were projected at $7.3 billion according to the current exchange rate of yen and U.S. dollars. The Tokyo organizing committee then announced in December, per the AP, that its 2020 Olympics budget was about $12 billion, $1.3 billion of which would come from the national government. Now, however, the Board of Audit report obtained by the AP indicates the national government is contributing an additional $5.8 billion, bringing the grand total of Winter Games costs to just under $25 billion.
The budget began to rise in January, according to the AP, when Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said the city needed additional money "for projects directly and indirectly related to the Games," such as Paralympic training facilities and advertising programs. Local organizers and IOC executives dispute these added costs as Olympic expenses, telling the AP that they are "regular administrative costs ... outside the overall Games budget.
Regardless, Tokyo taxpayers will be tasked with paying a notable price for the 2020 Olympics. According to Wade and Yamaguchi, about 80 percent of the $25 billion budget -- or roughly $20 billion -- will come from taxpayer money.
This wouldn't be the first time an Olympic budget exceeds projections. Original estimates for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games had South Korea fronting a bill of between $7 and $8 billion, but final costs ended up being.