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Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm •  Published: July 30, 2014

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on Wednesday defended his call to cut costs by relocating some venues for the 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens plans for having almost all the facilities close to the athletes village.

Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics last year with a promise to deliver a compact games, with 28 of the proposed 33 competition venues within five miles (8 kilometers) of the village.

But Japanese Olympic organizers said they are reviewing their venue plans because of concerns over rising costs. Japan has already informed the International Olympic Committee about its intention to review and revise its plans.

According to reports in the Japanese media, organizers are considering moving some venues to locations as far away as Saitama, which is part of the Greater Tokyo Area but an hour away from central Tokyo.

"Even if one venue is 50 kilometers (31 miles) far away from the village, if you have the transportation system that can bring the athletes at 100 kilometers per hour, you can bring them in half an hour," Masuzoe told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

Masuzoe said the relocation of some venues outside that radius will not increase travel times between the facilities if good transportation systems are in place.

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