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Tokyo organizers shift gears to prepare for 2021 Games

The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee set up a task force on Thursday to start dealing with the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. Photo: Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi

The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee set up a task force on Thursday to start dealing with the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. Photo: Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi

Published Mar 26, 2020

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TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee set up a task

force on Thursday to start dealing with the postponement of the 2020

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Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The team held the first meeting two days after the International

Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the postponement of the Games with

the novel coronavirus spreading worldwide rapidly.

"From now on, we take on an unprecedented challenge," organizing

committee president Yoshiro Mori told some 30 members of the team.

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"We are in a race against time," organizing committee chief executive

Toshiro Muto said. "There are so many issues that cannot proceed

unless the new date for the Games is not decided."

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Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told Kyodo News that she will

ask the IOC to share the costs incurred by the postponement until

2021.

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The governor said that host Tokyo will call on the IOC to "play a

role," Kyodo reported.

Tokyo will "make an estimate promptly," she told Kyodo.

Koike told reporters on Wednesday that Tokyo will have an "enormous

task ahead of us."

"We have problems piled up. But it's better than cancellation," she

added.

Officials said the postponement could cost Japan around 300 billion

yen (2.7 billion dollars), the report said.

Kansai University economics professor emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto

estimated the country would have to spend around 640 billion yen on

the delay, he said in a statement.

Tokyo, the government and organizers have been criticized for the

already costly Games.

Before Tuesday's decision to delay the Olympics, officials said Japan

could spend more than 3 trillion yen, far larger than the 734 billion

yen originally estimated when Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013,

calling for a "compact Olympics."

The Games were originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August

9 and the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6.

In a telephone press conference on Wednesday, IOC president Thomas

Bach said the Tokyo Games in 2021 will need "sacrifices" as the IOC

aims to find a suitable date next year as soon as possible.

A task force, called "Here We Go" and comprising the Tokyo organizers

and an IOC coordination commission, has also been set up to start

planning for 2021 including finding a new date for the Games.

dpa

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