Japan Olympics organizers review Tokyo 2020 plans
JUN 10, 2014 6:47a ET
Japan's Olympics organizers said Tuesday they are reviewing their plans for the venues of Tokyo's 2020 Summer Games due to concerns about cost.
Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe told a city assembly meeting that the overall plan for the venues needs to be revised.
''We must respond to concerns over rising facilities costs, including rising costs for labor and construction materials,'' Masuzoe said.
''We will review the plan as soon as possible from that point of view and revise what needs to be revised appropriately and promptly so that there will be no obstacles for the preparations for the games,'' he said.
Japan has already informed the International Olympic Committee about its intention to review and revise its plans, the broadcaster NHK cited Masuzoe as saying.
Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister and rugby enthusiast who heads Tokyo's Olympic committee, issued a statement saying that Masuzoe and other members of the committee agree on the need to revise the plan for the venues.
The statement did not refer specifically to plans to replace Tokyo's National Stadium with a colossal, 80,000-seat facility, the centerpiece of the city's Olympics bid. The proposed new stadium has caused protests over its size, cost and design.
The Japan Sports Council has already scaled back its original proposal to spend 300 billion yen ($3 billion) on a 75-meter-tall stadium to a still-hefty 169 billion yen ($1.7 billion). It recently presented its plans for the stadium to the Olympics organizers, saying it did not envision revising the basic design concept but would take other concerns into consideration.
Mori said the Tokyo committee was dedicated to creating a ''legacy of sports-centered and affluent, healthy living spaces.''
Tokyo, the 1964 Summer Olympics host, failed in a bid to host in 2016 but won the right to host the games in 2020 with a plan emphasizing the city's safety and advanced infrastructure. Of the 33 competition venues, 28 will be within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of the Olympic Village, which will be built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.