The government said Tuesday its spending to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has only been a fraction of the 801.1 billion yen ($7.1 billion) figure presented by the Board of Audit of Japan.
About 172.5 billion yen was spent over the past five years on 53 projects directly linked to the games, including construction of a new national stadium and cybersecurity drills involving organizers, while the rest of the money in the auditor’s figure was spent on projects with less direct relevance to the events, according to the government.
“We will continue to make efforts to carefully explain (state spending) so that we can gain better public understanding of it,” said Yoshitaka Sakurada, minister in charge of the Olympics.
The board’s figure, presented earlier this month, had been under scrutiny as the organizing committee of the Games has said the national government will only need to shoulder 150 billion yen of the 1.35 trillion yen budget for the events.
Deeming the 801.1 billion yen included costs of peripheral projects, the government classified all projects into three groups depending on their relevance to the games in an effort to present to the public what it deems is a more accurate picture of state spending.
As a result of the review, the government said for some 546.1 billion yen of spending on 208 projects, it was difficult to distinguish between expenditure directly related to the games and less relevant expenditure. The projects included road construction and Japan tourism promotion for foreign visitors.
Roughly 82.6 billion went to 29 projects which had low relevance to the Games, such as launching a satellite to increase the precision of weather forecasts and facilitating employment of people with disabilities, according to the government.