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Olympics - Tokyo keeps budget at $12.6 billion, more work needed

Olympics - Tokyo keeps budget at $12.6 billion, more work needed
FILE PHOTO: Cranes are seen at the New National Stadium under construction on December 19, 2018, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)   -   Copyright  Rodrigo Reyes Marin(Reuters)
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TOKYO (Reuters) – The 2020 Summer Olympics budget remains unchanged at $12.6 billion (9.9 billion pounds) after increases in some areas were offset by reductions in others, with Games organisers acknowledging on Friday that more work was needed to curb spending.

Organisers have been working to cut expenses since a study warned they could balloon to four times estimates made during the bidding process, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants Tokyo to set a good example for future host cities.

However, the third version of the budget announced on Friday was equal to the projection issued last year, after organisers had managed to reduce it from the $14 billion outlay unveiled two years ago.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to control expenditure,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said in a statement.

“But with the cooperation of the IOC, Tokyo 2020 will continue to make best efforts to maximize revenues, contain costs and keep its budget within 600 billion yen (4.3 billion pounds),” he said, referring to the organising committee’s portion of the overall budget.

Organisers said requirements were becoming clearer with less than 600 days to go until the event, prompting them to bump up estimates for transportation and Games operations by $100 million apiece.

However, those increases were offset by a reduction in a contingencies reserve and through other savings, with organisers also highlighting robust domestic sponsor revenues, up $100 million from last year to $3 billion.

Of the overall budget, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government accounts for $5.6 billion and the central government $1.4 billion, unchanged from last year.

(Figures are based on the 107 yen per dollar rate set in version 1 of the budget.)

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by John O’Brien)

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