Tokyo Olympics talk of simplifying, but no specifics so far

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Kyodo News

In this image made from video provided by Tokyo 2020 Official YouTube Channel, Tokyo 2020 Olympics President Yoshiro Mori, center, with CEO Toshiro Muto, left, attends a press conference after an IOC executive board meeting in Tokyo, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Tokyo 2020 Official YouTube Channel via AP)

TOKYO – One thing is certain: Tokyo organizers want to somehow simplify next year's postponed Olympics to keep costs down.

Estimates in Japan say the delay alone could cost $2 billion to $6 billion, most of which will be absorbed by Japanese taxpayers.

But how to do it and where to cut or reduce is still unclear. And there's unlikely to be anything concrete until the fall, when organizers hope that science will better understand the coronavirus pandemic and measures Tokyo needs to take against it.

“We together with the IOC, we have begun to review the service levels that we originally planned for," Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said Wednesday in Tokyo after an online meeting with the International Olympic Committee executive board in Switzerland. “We are in the process of identifying more than 200 items that simplification could exist.”

As he has done for 2 1/2 months since the Olympics were postponed, Muto offered nothing concrete and no examples of what might be downsized.

“We have not gone to the level or stage where we have complete ideas about what we can do in simplifying the games," Muto said.

Items rumored for cuts or reductions include the torch relay, and perhaps combining the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Muto, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, also declined to give numbers about the cost of the delay, or any savings from cuts or downsizing.