Japan, IOC Set July 23 Next Year for Start of Delayed Olympics: Kyodo

March 30, 2020 Updated: March 30, 2020

TOKYO—Japanese organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games would start on July 23, 2021, and run until Aug. 8, Kyodo news reported.

The Games were postponed last week due to the deepening CCP virus outbreak, also known as the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The delay is the first in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics and represents a huge blow for Japan, which invested $13 billion in the run-up to the event, and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors.

Earlier on Monday, the Games’ chief executive, Toshiro Muto, said the committee was moving “in the direction” of honoring tickets bought for the 2020 Games at the rescheduled event, or providing refunds in case of scheduling changes,

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Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, answers questions during a news conference in Tokyo, Japanm on March 17, 2020. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo)

“We want to honor the hopes of all those who purchased the tickets amid high demand,” Muto told a news conference.

But it was too early to say what the additional costs of the delay would be, Muto said.

The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last Tuesday by agreeing to push back the Games because of the CCP virus epidemic.

NTD refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China before it was transmitted worldwide.

Both Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive”—local reports estimate billions of dollars—with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.

Epoch Times Photo
Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori delivers a speech during the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Meeting in Tokyo, Japan on March 30, 2020. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.

“Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked.

“In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”

Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.

By Antoni Slodkowski

The Associated Press contributed to this report.