Tokyo News: Profligate Tokyo Olympics set to become the most expensive in history
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games look set to become the most expensive in the history of the Olympics. Yet, the ultra-modern city of Tokyo doesn’t need the games to develop its infrastructure. Therefore, the planned final costs are horrendous.
Hence with the final cost expected to be $15.9 billion, this is shockingly high. It comes at a time when many people are struggling because of economics based on the longevity of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Also, with Japan being heavily in debt – and now the Tokyo Metropolitan Government overspending and also heading for economic problems – it is extremely profligate.
The BBC reports, “The final budget means the Games will cost $15.9bn (£11.8bn) – up $2.8bn (£2.1bn) from figures last year.”
Many Tokyoites also have little interest in the staging of the Olympics next year based on various factors. For example, the economic angle and the ongoing coronavirus crisis are two negative factors.
Modern Tokyo Times stated last week, “The NHK poll highlights that 32 percent support the games to be canceled fully. Meanwhile, another 31 percent said the games should be postponed once more because of the continuing coronavirus crisis. Therefore, at least 63 percent of all people polled were negative to the games being held next year.”
The mega-city of Tokyo doesn’t need such an extravagant sporting event because the legacy will be minimal. Yet for the real estate sector and vested interests that are far from the Olympic ideals, then “money talks.”
However, with many people in Japan being worried about future pensions and the low birth rate – and a plethora of other concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus crisis – then the costs of the Olympics is a further reminder that the political elites are out of touch.
Ironically, the coronavirus infection rate is also higher now than at any other time in Tokyo. Hence, with only 7 months to go before the postponed Olympics begin – and with new variants of coronavirus becoming more infectious – then the overtly capitalist nature of the Olympic ideal is clear for all to see.
After all, the current international death toll from coronavirus is over 1.7 million people and it is likely to be higher. However, spending just short of $16 billion is deemed suitable for a highly developed city that faces more pressing concerns.
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