Tokyo, Feb 22 (AFP) Tokyo’s governor has warned that the bill for the city’s 2020 Olympics could yet spiral out of control despite exhaustive efforts to rein in runaway costs.

Governor Yuriko Koike said there was still a danger of costs reaching an eye-watering 3 trillion yen ($26 billion) — four times more than initially planned — unless Games organisers keep a tight rein on the purse strings.

“We still haven’t got a final figure for how much it will cost,” she told AFP in an interview Tuesday.

“But if there is no governance within the organising committee, it could be that expensive.

“That’s a question for them,” added the governor, who took office last August after a landslide election victory.

“In short, it’s a question of leadership and good management.”

Concerns over soaring costs have cast a shadow over Tokyo’s Olympic preparations and fears were heightened after a panel of experts predicted the overall budget could exceed 3 trillion yen without drastic cuts.

Koike proposed a review of three costly venues — for rowing, swimming and volleyball — but subsequently agreed to keep all three at their planned Tokyo sites.

“I don’t think we are on different wavelengths,” she said, rejecting any suggestion of discord between 2020 organisers and city and central government officials.

“Everyone is cooperating,” added the former TV newscaster.

“At one point the Sea Forest (rowing) venue was going to cost $1.1 billion but we have more than halved that. Tokyo is building six venues and we have made significant reductions to the costs.”

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Tokyo’s first female governor joked: “I just show the differences (in opinion) as much as possible to make it news!” More (AFP) AT AT

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.