Naganuma unlikely to be 2020 venue

The Yomiuri Shimbun A plan to hold rowing and canoe sprint competitions at the Miyagi Naganuma Boat Race Course in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture, during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is expected to be shelved, it has been learned.

Four parties — the International Olympic Committee, the central government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the organizing committee for the Tokyo Games — are now likely to select a final plan featuring the initial venue, Sea Forest Waterway on Tokyo Bay, at their top-level meeting scheduled to be held late this month.

On Nov. 1, the metropolitan government proposed three plans. The first is keeping the original plan to build a permanent facility at the Sea Forest Waterway but reducing the construction cost to ¥32.8 billion. The second is building a mostly temporary facility at the Sea Forest Waterway at a cost of ¥29.8 billion. The third is moving the venue to the Miyagi Naganuma Boat Race Course.

The Naganuma plan appeared to have the advantage as the construction costs can be kept down to ¥15 billion to ¥20 billion and the location would help make the 2020 Games a symbol of reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

However, the Naganuma plan would split the Olympic Village. For such reasons, sporting associations have opposed it.

Furthermore, if the construction of the Sea Forest Waterway is canceled, about ¥10 billion will be needed to pay compensation to relevant companies. With that in mind, the Naganuma plan loses its competitive edge in terms of cost.

According to sources familiar with the Tokyo Games, many people within the four parties have become aware that the Naganuma plan is infeasible.

The four-party talks late this month are expected to focus on two other options — one with a temporary facility to cut more costs and the other with a permanent facility, most of which will remain after the Games.Speech

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