No overseas fans may increase burden on Tokyo

NHK -- Mar 23
Without overseas spectators, this summer's Olympics and Paralympics will likely place an additional financial burden on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The organizing committee of the Tokyo Games says people abroad who have bought tickets for events will receive refunds. About 630,000 tickets have so far been sold overseas.

A contract between the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo government and others states that if the organizing committee suffers losses, the Metropolitan government will be the first to cover them. If the Tokyo government cannot afford to bear all the payments, the central government will take over.

The committee had earlier estimated revenues from tickets sold both in and outside Japan to be about 90 billion yen, or around 830 million dollars.

The Metropolitan government says it is not yet known how much of the estimated ticket revenues will be refunded, as the organizing committee hasn't compiled such data.

However, Tokyo officials say revenue from ticket sales could be further reduced, citing the possibility that fans in Japan would have to be reimbursed after limits on the number of domestic spectators will be decided next month.

The total cost of the Tokyo Games has exceeded 15 billion dollars, with additional expenses resulting from the postponement of the Games by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Metropolitan government has already decided to shoulder nearly 140 million dollars of the shortfalls in the committee's revenue. Depending on the cap on domestic spectators, the financial burden on the capital could increase further.