IOC president Thomas Bach, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and other delegates attend the XXIII ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Kyodo/Reuters

TOKYO – IOC chief Thomas Bach said Wednesday that Tokyo was the best-prepared host Olympic city he could remember, with just more than 600 days to go until the 2020 Opening Ceremony.

Speaking to representatives from 206 Olympic Committees from around the world, Bach noted he had some “unfortunate” experiences with the preparations of some Olympic Games.

But he added: “I do not remember any host city which was so far in its preparations two years before the Olympic Games than Tokyo.”

Japan has mostly lived up to its reputation for efficiency, with construction projects generally on schedule.

However, there have been concerns over the summer heat in Tokyo affecting endurance events such as the marathon and race walking.

Bach: I do not remember any host city which was so far in its preparations two years before the Games. Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters
Bach: I do not remember any host city which was so far in its preparations two years before the Games. Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

There has also been some wrangling over the cost of the Games -- split between the 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo city government and the central government -- with disagreements over what counts as Olympics-linked expenditure.

According to the latest version of the budget, organisers project the total cost of the Games at 1.35 trillion yen, or around $12 billion.

Organisers are expected to release an updated version of the budget next month.

Bach said he expected an “excellent Olympic Games from the organisational point of view, from the engagement point of view and from the atmosphere point of view.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP)