Tokyo 2020 asks IOC to remove Japan PM Shinzo Abe comment regarding Olympic costs

By: Reuters | Tokyo |

Published: April 21, 2020 3:00:51 pm

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/File)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee on Tuesday requested that the IOC remove a comment from their website that referred to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when discussing the financial impact of postponing the Games.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government agreed last month to postpone the Games because of the global coronavirus outbreak.

The costs of rearranging the Games and who will pay them have yet to be clarified by either the IOC or the Japanese government.

However, on Monday the IOC published a Q&A on their website about the postponement and answered the question ‘what will be the financial impact of postponing the Games?’

Part of their answer referred to Abe and has become the bone of contention between the Olympic organising partners.

“Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo agreed that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs,” read the IOC’s answers.

“For the IOC, it is already clear that this amounts to several hundred millions of dollars of additional costs.”

On Tuesday, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said it was “not appropriate for the PM’s name to be quoted in this manner” and said a request had been made for the IOC to remove the offending comment from their website.

“What we are requesting to the IOC team is that the name of the Japanese Prime Minister should not be quoted, plus the IOC’s website should not express beyond what was agreed between the IOC and Tokyo 2020,” said Takaya.

The IOC have yet to respond to Tokyo 2020.

Reuters have also reached out to the IOC for comment.

Tokyo 2020 also said that the breakdown of who will pay the additional costs had not been discussed between Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach when the pair made the decision to postpone the Games.

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Earlier, Kyodo news agency reported that Abe had agreed that Japan would shoulder the cost, which Kyodo said amounted to around $3 billion.

Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said on Tuesday Abe had not agreed to any additional costs.

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