- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

TOKYO (AP) - The latest price tag for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been trimmed slightly, but is still nearly twice the initial estimate even after a major cost-cutting effort.

The organizers said Friday that the event will cost a total 1.35 trillion yen ($11.9 billion).

In their release, Tokyo 2020 officials said the U.S. dollar cost would be $12.6 billion. But at the current exchange rate of about 113 yen to the dollar it is just under $12 billion.

When Tokyo won the Olympics in September 2013, its bid was for 730 billion yen. That ballooned to over 3 trillion yen but was slashed to 1.4 trillion yen after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike launched a cost cutting campaign.

Organizers have managed to cut still more from the estimated cost by moving some events outside of Tokyo and using existing and temporary facilities.

Tokyo’s games won’t be the priciest ever: the 2012 London Olympics cost $19 billion, compared with the bid estimate of $6.5 billion.

Cities tend to exclude large amounts of associated costs when they submit a bid to host the Olympics. Such bids usually include only core components such as the main facilities so that the bids are easier to compare. Building design, security measures, transportation and other costs are largely excluded.

Thomas Bach, who took over as IOC president in 2013, has sought to slash costs to entice cities to bid for future Games and minimize damage to the Olympic brand. The IOC has urged Tokyo to cut $1 billion more.

The addition of five new sports after Tokyo pushed the tab up, but one of the biggest factors is rising construction costs.

The budget figure announced Friday does not include a contingency fund of between 100 billion-300 billion yen ($882 million-$2.6 billion).

A cost-allocation agreement calls for the city of Tokyo and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee to pay 600 billion yen ($5.4 billion) each. The central government will contribute 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion).

The remaining 35 billion yen ($315 million) will be covered by lottery revenues, officials said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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