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Tokyo lowers Ariake Arena cost estimate / Metropolitan govt puts cost at ¥34 billion

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Tokyo metropolitan government has estimated that the project cost for the envisaged Ariake Arena as the venue for volleyball matches in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be lowered to ¥34 billion, it was learned Monday.

The revised estimation, reduced by about ¥6 billion, was presented at a four-party working group meeting held in Tokyo on Sunday. The working group consisted of members from the International Olympic Committee, the central government, the metropolitan government and the organizing committee for the 2020 Games.

The reduction will be ¥3 billion more than the previous revision announced on Nov. 1.

It is likely that a decision will be made during a top-level meeting of the four parties on Tuesday on whether to construct Ariake Arena in Koto Ward, Tokyo, at the reduced cost, or to use the existing Yokohama Arena.

Of three venues for four sports whose project costs are being reviewed, that for volleyball is considered to be most difficult in light of the process.

The metropolitan government already unveiled a plan to reduce the Ariake project cost to ¥37 billion to ¥37.4 billion, which would be ¥3 billion less than the ¥40.4 billion estimated under the current project plan.

At the working group meeting Sunday, the metropolitan government suggested it could be reduced further to ¥34 billion. The reduction likely will be made through such measures as changing specifications of equipment and facilities, rather than changing the construction of the building, according to sources.

With regard to the venue for volleyball matches, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as well as domestic organizations of basketball and handball have called for the construction of Ariake Arena, saying the facility would be a domestic base for such ball sports.

The Yokohama Arena plan, on the other hand, is expected to enable a significant reduction in costs by using an existing facility.Speech

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