Audit finds Tokyo Olympic costs 20% higher than announced

TOKYO (AP) — The cost of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics is 20% higher than organizers said when they announced officials figures more than a year ago, according to a report by the Board of Audit of Japan.

The report, which was released this week, said there was a lack of full disclosure and transparency on the part of the government and the organizing committee.

The audit put the cost at 1.7 trillion yen ($12.9 billion). Organizers last year put that figure at 1.42 trillion yen ($10.7 billion at today’s exchange rate but $13 billion at the time).

“The government, if its significant involvement is expected, should make a timely disclosure of total spending or an estimation,” the audit report said. “It should set up a system that allows full disclosure to contribute to the people’s understanding about the hosting and execution of the event.”

Last year, organizers used a rate of 109 yen to the dollar to list the official cost, putting 1.42 trillion yen at $13 billion. At that rate, the new price is $15.5 billion.

Organizers do not disclose the exchange rate they use for payments denominated in dollars.

The audit report comes the same week that Sapporo city officials and the Japanese Olympic Committee said they are “pausing” their bid for the the 2030 Winter Games.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said the bid is being paused — not scrapped — because of damage done by the Tokyo Olympic bid-rigging scandal.

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Associated Press reporter Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

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