Photo/IllutrationThe Sea Forest Waterway, center, in the waterfront area along Tokyo Bay (Tatsuya Shimada)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering holding the 2020 Tokyo Olympic rowing and canoe events in South Korea after frowning on suggestions the competitions be moved to the disaster-hit Tohoku region, sources said.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who is trying to rein in the ballooning costs of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the capital, raised the idea of relocating the rowing and canoe venue to Naganuma Boat Park in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture.

She cited the expected rise in construction costs for the Sea Forest Waterway, the planned Olympic venue on Tokyo Bay, to as much as 50 billion yen ($500 million).

However, the IOC and international organizations for those sports insist that the Sea Forest Waterway would be the best venue. The sources, who are related to the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Games, said Oct. 17 that if Tokyo faces problems holding those events, the IOC might propose moving them to a boat park in Chungju in the central part of South Korea.

The Chungju boat park was used in the 2004 Asian Games. Although the park has some problems in terms of traffic access, “the course can be changed within only several months to one that can host the Olympic events,” one of the sources said.