THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 24, 2020 at 16:00 JST
A TV monitor displays Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games mascot Someity in Tokyo on Dec. 9. (AP Photo) 2020.
Tokyo Olympic officials said Thursday they have reached a “basic agreement” with all 68 domestic sponsors to extend their contracts into next year to support the postponed Games.
Japanese domestic sponsors have contributed a record of $3.3 billion to the local operating budget.
This is at least twice as large as any previous Olympics and is driven by Dentsu Inc., the giant Japanese advertising company that is also the marketing agent for the Tokyo Games.
Officials did not immediately give financial details nor terms of the extensions during an on-line briefing. They said contracts were still being finalized.
It was reported earlier this month that the top 15 so-called “Gold Partners” would contribute an added 1 billion yen each. This is about $10 million each.
Some of the Gold Partners include well-known names like Canon, Fujitsu, and the Mizuho Financial Group.
Nikkei is also a domestic sponsor along with other dailies including Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri and several smaller newspapers.
Sponsors like the airline ANA and Japan Airlines, among others struggling during the pandemic, were also reported to be contributing.
Tokyo Olympic organizers announced earlier this week that their new budget, swollen by the postponement and the cost of holding the Olympics during a pandemic, had increased by $2.8 billion, pushing the official cost to $15.4 billion.
A government audit over the last several years has shown the total is probably closer to $25 billion. All but $6.7 billion is public money.
Tokyo officials said the Olympics would cost about $7.5 billion when they won the bid in 2013 from the International Olympic Committee.
Sponsors are being asked to make up some of the financial shortfall. However, most of the cost overrun will be met by Japanese government entities.
The postponed Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.
Japan has contained COVID-19 better than most countries, and there is skepticism among the public about inviting 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country.
Vaccinations are not expected to be widely available in Japan until March.
Add to this, tens of thousands of officials, judges, sponsors and media--not to mention fans from abroad, if they are allowed to enter. Officials are expected to decide on the numbers and exact preventive measures early next year.
A telephone poll this month of 1,200 participants by Japanese news agency Kyodo showed 63 percent want the Olympics postponed or canceled.
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