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IOC removes controversial statement on Tokyo Olympics

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A pedestrian wearing mask walks past the Olympic rings in Tokyo. AFP

TOKYO (Xinhua) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has on Tuesday removed controversial comments declaring that Japan will pay the additional cost for the postponed Tokyo Games.

The IOC prompted fury from Tokyo 2020 with a Q&A post released on Monday its website, saying “Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo agreed that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs.

“For the IOC, it is already clear that this amounts to several hundred millions of dollars of additional costs.”

Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told reporters at an online briefing on Tuesday, “We think it is not appropriate for the PM’s name to be quoted in this manner.” He said that Tokyo 2020 had sent an email to the IOC to request the IOC to remove the comment from their website.

The statement was soon revised and the Japanese Prime Minister’s name has been removed as requested.

The new post reads, “The Japanese government has reiterated that it stands ready to fulfill its responsibility for hosting successful Games. At the same time, the IOC has stressed its full commitment to successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

“The IOC and the Japanese side, including the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, will continue to assess and discuss jointly the respective impacts caused by the postponement,” it added.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters earlier Tuesday that Japan and the IOC had not agreed on the extra costs.

Suga said that he believes that both sides have agreed to jointly continue assessing and discussing the matter.

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