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SBD Global/July 31, 2014/Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe Defends 2020 Olympics Venue Relocation Plans

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on Wednesday "defended his call to cut costs by relocating some venues for the 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens plans for having almost all the facilities close to the athletes village," according to the AP. But Japanese Olympic organizers said that "they are reviewing their venue plans because of concerns over rising costs." Japanese media reports said that organizers "are considering moving some venues to locations as far away as Saitama, which is part of the Greater Tokyo Area but an hour away from central Tokyo." Masuzoe said, "Even if a venue is 100 kilometers (60 miles) away you can still achieve a maximum travel time of 30 minutes if the transportation system if appropriate." Insisting that he also has a responsibility to Tokyo taxpayers, Masuzoe said that the Games "need to be compact in terms of cost and not just geography -- a principle the IOC agrees with." He said, "Expenses can be 30, 40, 50 times more than the original plan. How can I persuade the taxpayers to pay this kind of money? We are working with the IOC and the various sports federations to make the games sustainable" (AP, 7/30).
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