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Expert panel warns Tokyo Olympics cost could top $30 billion

PROPOSED JAPAN OLYMPICS TOKYO STADIUM (EPA)  — An artistic concept image released on December 22, 2015 shows the new designed main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. A government panel has picked the new design by award-winning Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and his plan will incur a total construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.2 billion, compared with 265 billion yen for a cancelled previous design by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The project will be led by Japanese major construction company Taisei, which won the bid to build the main venue of the Tokyo Games, the panel said.

PROPOSED JAPAN OLYMPICS TOKYO STADIUM (EPA) — An artistic concept image released on December 22, 2015 shows the new designed main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. A government panel has picked the new design by award-winning Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and his plan will incur a total construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.2 billion, compared with 265 billion yen for a cancelled previous design by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The project will be led by Japanese major construction company Taisei, which won the bid to build the main venue of the Tokyo Games, the panel said.

TOKYO — An expert panel commissioned by Japan’s capital city has warned that the total cost for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could exceed 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) unless drastic cost-cutting measures are taken.

The panel on Thursday said the ballooning costs reflect an absence of leadership and a lack of governance and awareness of cost control.

The panel, headed by a Keio University professor, was launched by newly elected Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike after she raised concerns about ever-growing unofficial cost estimates and the potential burden on the city and its taxpayers.

The report reviewed three out of seven permanent venues that Tokyo is planning to build, and proposed using existing locations rather than new facilities that could end up being white elephants.