"Not again report : if the olympic and paralympic Games cannot take place in 2021, they shall be cancelled" : thus spoke in may, the president of the organising committee for Tokyo 2020, Yoshiro Mori. "We need to think about the possibility of a second report if the olympics aren't held in the next year" : as well answered on this mid-June with the newspaper Nikkan Sports, Haruyuki Takahashi, a member of the same committee.
The cacophony within the instance of organization is symptomatic of the vagueness that surrounds the preparations for the sporting event in the world was due to take place this summer in Tokyo. The crisis of the Covid-19 has thrown the protagonists of japanese in an abyss that draws in issues of financial, commercial and political as much as sporting.
principles, but no decision
Since that was decided at the end of march the one-year deferral of the olympics (a time period which fits well with the agenda of Prime minister Shinzo Abe supposed to finish its mandate in September 2021), the file is reviewed and the allocation of costs also. The press continues to question the government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, on the note that Japan has agreed to pay. "Nothing is decided," repeated he, while a cost overrun of almost $ 2.5 to 3 billion euro is mentioned.
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The increase of the invoice cannot be digested without discomfort by the Japanese in general and the Tokyoïtes in particular, this has included the governor of the capital, Yuriko Koike, campaigning for his re-election. She was the first called for "a simplification" as it "that is essential to win the understanding of citizens of Tokyo" and she hoped the voice.
This is an opportunity to totally rethink these games
"We have not received a quote, we are in the process of assessing the positions on which we can make savings, we have identified 200 possibilities," says Toshiro Muto, the director of Tokyo 2020. However, he is unable to give even one or two examples of cost reductions being considered. "We decided three principles : safety, rationalization of expenditure, simplification. There are lots of figures that come out, but nothing is fixed yet, " says the media Yuriko Koike. "For the athletes, a new report would be very hard. More than two years apart, it would be a whole other ordeal. There are, admittedly, full of problems that the olympics take place in 2021, but precisely it is the opportunity to totally rethink these games. "
The countdown timer installed in front of the station "Tokyo" one of the main stations of the japanese capital. © Karyn Nishimura
are not yet certain of the sites of exhibition, Big Site in Tokyo (for the press centre, in particular) and the Makuhari Messe (in the prefecture bordering Chiba prefecture) where are foreseen the events of fencing, wrestling and taekwondo. The managers of these gigantic spaces that have already signed many contracts for the summer of 2021, with fairs and exhibitors ", which will demand substantial monetary compensation " in case of cancellation of booking, accurate to the Point the lawyer Nobuo Gohara. According to him, these negotiations may be costly or lost. "The absolute will to make the olympics next year, causes huge losses ", he insists.
No savings plan set, the locations are uncertain, and no revenue guarantees on behalf of the sponsors : the economic equation into account so many unknowns that it seems insoluble. Some sponsors, the largest, will not default, it is already that : "We have a partnership agreement with the IOC until 2024, so we do not ask the question, the one-year deferral does not change the terms of our agreement," says a spokesperson of Toyota, one of the biggest providers of funding for these JO.
Thirteen other companies also have a contract that includes the year 2021. But a good sixty companies of smaller scale are committed to the olympic and paralympic Games of 2020... 2020. Their contract with the organizing committee ends at the end of this year. "The postponement was decided at the end of march, and the state of emergency was declared in Japan in early April, we have not been able to meet with these companies to discuss, we're going to do it ", said Toshiro Muto.
Nobody can promise that the games will have their place in the next year
" that firms are willing to provide more funds, it is necessary that they have the financial base. Many have been shaken by the crisis of the Covid-19 and have other priorities, " according to master Gohara who does not see how they can legally do to sign a contract that would provide guarantees to cover their costs in all cases. "Nobody can promise that the games will have their place in the next year," acknowledged the boss Muto who can only engage on "the determination of the organizers to do everything possible to ensure that the games take place in 2021," in order to convince the sponsors hand over hand to the portfolio.
" We don't know what we'll do. We will decide depending on the information that we give the committee the Tokyo 2020. For the moment, we have not changed our position which is to support the JO for their success ", has tempered to The Point, a spokesperson for the rail company JR East, whose network of trains will largely be put to work if these games are conducted... in Tokyo.
And if the games in Tokyo were held... in Paris
Since some in political circles are active behind the scenes, with another scheme in mind : to return the olympics to Tokyo in 2024, either in repulsive as those of Paris, or by combining the two. Candidate for the post of governor of Tokyo, Taisuke Ono, said it clearly : "the revision project of the olympic games in a year and bring people from around the world seems impossible, dangerous, especially if there is no vaccine against the Covid-19. This is why it would be better to discuss with Paris and the international olympic Committee (IOC) to shift the two events or do them jointly in a place and in the other. "
Taisuke Ono has little chance of being elected and to make its voice heard, but it is not the only one to have this idea, also shared by the lawyer Gohara. Mps are discussing in the opposition and even, in secret, a clan, a rival of the Prime minister Abe within the omnipotent liberal democratic Party (LDP) that he chairs. All of these "dissidents" are hoping to attract the attention of the side of Paris and of the IOC.p>
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