Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans

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  • 27

    HaraldBloodaxe

    “Expenses can be 30, 40, 50 times more than the original plan," Masuzoe said.

    Then the original plan was a fiction.

    What a surprise - the Tokyo Olympics are going to be a huge white elephant, bonanza for politicos and the construction yakuza shell companies, but a millstone around the neck of the taxpayers in the aftermath of failed Abenomics.

    Whoever could have predicted that?

  • 6

    Alphaape

    In a way this makes sense. Why should the Tokyo/J-Gov build a center in the area to conduct such activites as the equestrian (horse) events in an area that after the games are gone, will not have the demand for such a venue. If I am not mistaken, golf will be part of the games so why would you want a golf course in the middle of Tokyo?

    Cut costs, move some events to other areas that are close, and make sure the transportation piece can support it.

    For the rest of the J-people, this should be a lesson. Just because they can promise you (government) one thing, keep in mind "the house always wins" and nothing is for free.

  • 10

    rickyvee

    after japan co-hosted the world cup, quite a few of those stadiums turned out to be white elephants (it's been reported that japan and south korea were countries that wasted the most money hosting a WC). so i applaud what masuzoe is trying to do. who cares if some of the 28 venues need to be moved further out. it's a small inconvenience for a few athletes but a major money saver to taxpayers in japan.

  • 7

    GW

    Going over proposed budgets h'mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........WELL DUH!

    Going over budget is a Japanese Olympic sport! Here Budgets are made to be broken, and by HUGE margins, 100% over, NOT ENOUGH!, 200% were getting close but the powers that be prefer 300-500% over budget in most cases!

    Just like when they make new highways(aqualine anyone!) or bullet train lines, the BS numbers of users they trot out are always of the highest fiction & combine that with the usual MASSIVE cost overurns.............

    Well we all know the story! I hope the Olympics get yanked, that would be great for Tokyo & Japan!

  • 7

    M3M3M3

    I'm all for trying to save the taxpayers some money, but there does come a point when you are pulling a bait and switch on the IOC. I don't know if we have gone beyond that point yet but Tokyo won the games based on the actual proposal they put forward, not some TBD proposal. The ultimate savings for taxpayers would have been to not bid for the games in the first place.

    That being said, I think it's time for the olympics to be hosted by a country rather than a single city. Hosting in a single city seems a bit antiquated when most people are watching on TV.

  • 10

    Scrote

    There's zero chance of getting the athletes 50 km away to Saitama in 30 minutes. Unless a fast rail line is built, but that would cost more than building the sports facility in the original location and couldn't be finished in time. Or maybe they will close the expressways to all but olympic traffic.

    Often these reports cite rising labour costs as a reason why costs have doubled or tripled from the original estimate. Have the salaries of construction workers doubled? I don't think so. Are the construction companies colluding to rig bids and raise costs? Certainly.

  • 6

    HaraldBloodaxe

    Hear hear. If the interests of taxpayers are your motivation, don't bid for this guaranteed lossmaker in the first place.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    AlphaApe: "Cut costs, move some events to other areas that are close, and make sure the transportation piece can support it."

    Agree that costs need to be cut, but here's the rub: Matsuzoe says, "If the right transportation system is in place", correct? How much do you want to bet his suggestions are the stepping stone for plans to rush new shinkansen lines or pour a bunch of money into transportation infrastructure, ultimately costing more? You can bet that if he chooses some place further south of Tokyo in or towards Nagoya suddenly they'll be a demand that the maglev line be completed by 2020, meaning a WHOLE lot more money to get it done.

  • 6

    tokyoclambake

    I sure hope they aren't thinking about the Seibu lines going to Saitama-from personal daily experience I can say they are often thwarted by wind, rain, heat, loud fart, dirty look, etc. I agree with Scrote; unless they are building something new or closing expressways, it's not gonna happen.

  • 5

    Disillusioned

    This is pretty damn rude! The main platform of the Olympic bid by Japan was the fact the have venues close to the athlete's village and now, six months later, the truth is coming out and they don't have venues close to the athlete's village? The Olympics should be stripped from them for lying to achieve them!

  • 7

    Cricky

    At least he is trying to be sensible, he is trying to clean up the mess he inherited not initiated. Probably would rather not have this on his plate at all.

  • 6

    Antthom

    It's a sensible decision and show some quality leadership which is lacking in Japanese politics.

  • 5

    Alex Einz

    I gotta say that even though this guy seemed like a sleaze before the elections, he actually seem to be genuinely caring for Tokyo and its residents with regards to current and future planning and exercising almost business like caution about future budgets. I quite like his plan to develop more cycling facilities and now this discussion. Seems like a bit of fresh air after that money embezzling right wing madman that was in the help for way too long

  • 1

    FightingViking

    Time to let Madrid get the Olympics - they already have everything they need.

  • 2

    tapetptape

    There is a suitable golf course right on the edge of Tokyo Bay in Shin Kiba called Wakasu Golf Links. Over 7000yds from the tips Strong cross winds and with deeper rough and narrow fairways, they could easily use this course - and apparently considered it....but have now decided to choose a course in Saitama instead.
    You gotta think that we will be hearing more and more about venues being moved out of greater Tokyo area at this rate...still 6 years away!

  • 2

    smig1975

    lots of hosts budgets soar, Olympic , world cup whatever , politicians can't help lying to get the games.

    As for making (significant ) changes to the bid , well that sounds like its a new bid & should be taken as one . At best its dishonest & amateurish , really think the games should be taken away if its big changes :-( Not fair on other bidders .

  • 2

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    I understand where this guy is coming from, but there IS such a thing as commitment. This man is putting what's left of Japan's reputation on a platter.

    When you agree to do an Olympics, you are paying through your nose in exchange for fame. So let's not be cheap if you are going to do one at all.

    Of course, I'm not saying cost control shouldn't be exercised. Just that promises shouldn't be broken.

  • 3

    SaitamaRefugee

    Actually, it already possible to get to Saitama in under 30 minutes or so. The Takasaki and Utsunomiya lines only take 24 minutes to get from Saitama Shintoshin(Super Arena)to Ueno, and the lines are being extended down to Tokyo station, which will make it even faster to get Saitama from central Tokyo

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    The number-one way to prevent costs from rising -- and it isn't even close -- is to use existing ssports facilities rather than build new ones. And every world-class city (of which Tokyo is one) already has such facilities. The 1954 Olympic Stadium, the Tokyo Dome, Jingu -- these are all high-quality venues that can and should be used. Instead almost everything is in Odaiba, an area with little flavor or culture but rife with construction projects that politicians going back before Ishihara have been itching to develop and make money from.

    But existing facilities in the "real" Tokyo wouldn't be profitable for the construction industry and the politicians, now would it?

    I'm also wondering about how much money is being taken up by the National Police Agency and their over-the-top "security" which has heaped insane costs onto many recent international gatherings, sporting and otherwise, including the 2002 World Cup.

    Another entrenched organization siphoning taxpayer money.

    And still no talk of moving the games to October when people will not be passing out from heatstroke? (And if "Cool Biz is still in effect, people will even be passing out indoors.) It makes Sports Day, October 10, which celebrates the perfectly-timed 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, look like a cruel joke.

  • 1

    TokyoGas

    Expenses can be 30, 40, 50 times more than the original plan

    Everyone who worked on the plan should never be allowed to work in accounting again. I have never heard of any project diverging that far from the original estimate.

  • -1

    jerseyboy

    Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics last year with a promise to deliver a compact games, with 28 of the proposed 33 competition venues within five miles (8 kilometers) of the village.

    But Japanese Olympic organizers said they are reviewing their venue plans because of concerns over rising costs. Japan has already informed the International Olympic Committee about its intention to review and revise its plans.

    So, putting the two statements together, and it is clear that Japan did it's usual sand-bag job to win the bid. It has been less than a year, but costs are already rising by a factor of up to 50 times????? Tokyo won the bid on two false premises -- the compact games and its being able to demonstrate the "recovery" in Fukushima. Slick marketing, but shameless.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "The IOC, under new President Thomas Bach, is currently looking at ways of reducing the costs of hosting future Olympics. Several cities declined to bid or have dropped out of the race for the 2022 Winter Games because of financial concerns."

    What would the IOC do if no cities submitted bids for the 2022 Winter Games? Would they beg?

  • 2

    Ali Khan

    '''every thing is under control""said Mr.abe to the rest of the world. why such discussion starts now, why not before the Olympics bid. and how can you change the plan which you promised and explained on the world forum for wining the Olympics bid. remember that the Olympics committee rejected plans from other countries against the original Japanese Olympics plan.

  • -2

    tinawatanabe

    remember that the Olympics committee rejected plans from other countries against the original Japanese Olympics plan.

    I've heard that every country makes some changes. As long as the concept of the original plan is maintained, I think it's fine.

  • -2

    gelendestrasse

    I'm all for changing the plan and keeping some of the historic sites undamaged. The IOC and Abe need to be flexible. It's not like they can put the sailing competition in Tokyo, can they?

  • 0

    Jeff Huffman

    The bulk of Summer Games events are track and field. There is already a more than adequate stadium from the '64 games that just needs to be refurbished. Look at the LA Coliseum - built for the 1932 games, modernized for the 1984 games and still home to USC football. T&F isn't that big in Asia anyway, so Tokyo has no justification for building a new and larger capacity stadium that will sit unused for probably 350 days a year after the games.

    Similarly, I believe facilities for gymnastics, volleyball, basketball already exist with, again, the latter pretty much a non-starter in Japan, the JBL notwithstanding, so a new gym is not needed.

    I suppose a new pool and diving area will need to be built. What they will be doing for the rafting events, I don't know. Including those events was one of the stupidest moves by the IOC as those facilities are as useless as bobsled and luge runs once the games are over.

    And since the sailing events will be, presumably, somewhere on Tokyo Bay, the idea that events will be no more than 30 minutes from the Olympic Village is a lie. In fact, it will probably be easier to get to events in Saitama than inside Tokyo itself.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Ater Olympic is over, what kind of organization will pay user fees for these new facilities?

  • 0

    Michael Net Work

    Japan did a bait and switch it seems. Anyone can see that Japan had already thought of everything before they entered the bidding process. Let's see how this plays out.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Tokyo won the bid with a specific description of how things would be arranged. Any change to how things will be arranged after the bid is won has to be approved by the IOC before the host country can act on the change.

  • 0

    WilliB

    Alphaape:

    " In a way this makes sense. Why should the Tokyo/J-Gov build a center in the area to conduct such activites as the equestrian (horse) events in an area that after the games are gone, will not have the demand for such a venue "

    Err.... why? Because that was the promise with which they got the games in the first place. Since when is "bait and switch" accepted business practise?

    The whole original bid was scam, but they signed it and now should live with it.

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