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Tokyo to follow Madrid’s example and lower 2020 bid budget

The Spanish Olympic Committee announced last Wednesday that Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Olympics would cost up to 40% less than the total expenditure on the city’s failed attempt to secure the hosting rights for the 2016 Games. Tokyo, which finished third behind Madrid and eventual winner Rio de Janeiro in the 2016 Games tender, has now indicated that the cost of its bid for the 2020 Olympics will be around the US$75 million mark.

“That’s my mission,” Tokyo bid committee CEO Masato Mizuno told Reuters. “This time we plan to cut the budget in half. The last time was about $150 million. On the first round (of voting) we learned a lot about financial management, so for the second round we have to be much smarter. Like in daily life, if you have enough money: ‘Hey, why don’t we have steak?’ But this time the budget is small so we go to find nice noodles – okay.”

Tokyo, which hosted Asia’s first Olympics in 1964, suffered a devastating earthquake in March, but Mizuno added that “after receiving support from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Olympic Council of Asia, we felt we had to bid”. Mizuno added: “Our planning team is researching all these possibilities but just having the Olympic Games in Japan will give the whole country a boost, like in 1964.”

The Tokyo bid committee chief also outlined his hopes of increasing public support for the bid within Japan, with a relative lack of such backing thought to have been a problem in the 2016 Games race. Public support is around the 60% mark, but Mizuno said: “Seventy per cent is a line we would like to cross.”