TOKYO (AP) – A decision has not yet been reached on rerouting thelater this month around Osaka, the Tokyo Games organizing committee president said Friday. “We are discussing with the Osaka prefectural government as well as the executive committee so we can come to a conclusion at our earliest convenience,” Seiko Hashimoto said in an online briefing. The mayor of Osaka and the prefecture governor said Thursday they wanted relay legs through the city on April 14 to be canceled because of .
A week ago, the relay started from northeastern Japan and crisscrossed the country with 10,000 runners. It is to end on July 23 at the.
The relay is a test to see if organizers can pull off a large-scale event during the pandemic. Any failures will prompt more questions about the risks of holding theentering Japan, accompanied by tens of thousands of officials, judges, coaches, and media.
Organizers said last month thatthe Olympics and Paralympics.
Hashimoto has repeatedly said that a decision would be announced this month on maximumand outdoor venues. On Friday, she hinted that decision might be delayed.
“Within April, there may be some changing circumstances,” she said. “But we would like toout with an overall direction within this month. But at which point we would be able to make that direction. We are in the middle of discussions right now.”
Organizers are hoping to fill venues as much as possible with local fans. They had budgeted $800 million for income from ticket sales but will be millions short because of the ban on fans from abroad.
Any shortfall will have to be made up by Japanese government entities. The official cost of the Olympics is $15.4 billion, but several government audits suggest it may be twice that much. All but $6.7 billion in public money.
Hashimoto said organizers had filed a “protest” with the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, which published 280 pages of leaked documentsceremonies this week.
Organizers asked that the material be removed from the “online version” of the magazine.
Hashimoto said the leaked documents “contain secret information that needs tothe organizing committee, which could eventually hinder the effective management of the organizing committee.”
Most of the documents seem to deal with, not concrete plans for the ceremonies. In a statement on Friday, the magazine said it was operating in the public interest because taxpayer money was involved. “It is clear this (publication) does not constitute a violation of copyright or an interference with business operations,” the magazine said.
“We believe it is abnormal that an organization of public interest receiving taxpayer money would make this unusual demand. We refuse to give in to such unjust demands and will continue our coverage and reporting efforts.”Guruji Ito, the chief financial officer of the organizing committee, speaking alongside Hashimoto, acknowledged spending on the ceremonies did involve public funds.
“Based on the role assigned to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we do have a portion of that kind of subsidy money in the operation and planning for the ceremonies,” Ito said.
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