"The decision was made on March 25 of last year to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for one year. But afterwards, while the contracted businesses went into a period of 'hibernation,' they kept consuming money."
This remark, by Diet member Takeshi Saiki, a member of The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan representing Fukui Prefecture, leads off the article in Asahi Geino (June 17) about the lavish sums being showered upon people involved in the Olympic games.
For his Exhibit A, Saiki points to the details of a contract assigning the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in suburban Chofu City, which will be the venue for badminton competition at both the Olympics and Paralympics. The organizers concluded a contract with a major advertising agency for 623,340,000 yen. Broken down by charges, two directors each receive "personnel fees" as compensation, over a period of 40 days, amounting to 28 million yen -- the equivalent of an astonishing 350,000 yen per day.
Saiki continues: "When I questioned Tamayo Marukawa, Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, about the lavish salaries, she replied, 'Working out the operation plan involved a huge amount of effort.' But it was only afterwards, when I saw the document, that it contained a provision of 250,000 yen compensation described as 'Duties involving drawing up of plans to operate the venue.' Ordinarily the director who draws up the plans is also responsible for preparing the venue, but in this case the tasks were assigned separately, so combined their daily stipend came to 600,000 yen."
"Just to reiterate, we're not talking about a monthly salary here," writes Asahi Geino. "These are daily stipends."
"Once talks with the organizing committee are concluded, the asking price becomes valid," explains a reporter on the desk of a sports newspaper. "I heard that in one case, a payout of 700,000 yen per day was proposed at the start, but that raised questions and it was haggled down to 350,000 yen."
The aforementioned Saiki noted that the initially contracted period ran from December 2019 until the end of the Paralympics in September 2020. (With a few staff remaining on board afterwards.)
"If people perform work over a short period, then sure, they have to be paid; but there is no evidence they were involved in preparatory work, so the billed payouts were clearly excessive," he said. "And they're also adding on the charges due to the one-year extension."
In 2018, Ryu Honma, a former employee of the ad agency involved in these activities, published an expose from Kadokawa titled "Black Volunteers." about the shady goings-on.
"They've been claiming that the 350,000 yen was not only for directors, but also for the staff working under the directors," Honma tells the magazine. "But if that is really the case, that should have been spelled out in detail in the particulars.
"At venues other than badminton, the organizing committee concluded similar contracts. The ad agency that operates the venues will receive a windfall," he adds.
To give an idea of the scale involved, 33 Olympic events will be held at a total of 42 venues.
The amount of funds poured into the games by 78 companies -- starting with worldwide partners like Coca-Cola and Toyota (14), followed by 64 other gold partners, official partners and official sponsors, is reported in excess of a record-setting 400 billion yen.
Diet member Saiki pointed out that of the 4,300 members of the organizing committee, one-third are from metropolitan Tokyo, one-third from the national or regional governments, and one-third from the Pasona Group, Japan's largest worker dispatch agency. As the only official sponsor in this field, Pasona has exclusive rights to assign staff to fill worker shortages, an arrangement that appears likely to be extremely lucrative.
One of the people on Pasona's board of directors is Heizo Takenaka, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, who is said to be tight with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
In another example of the lavish treatment accorded people in high places, the article points out that while IOC executives are limited to a per diem for overnight accommodations of $400 per day, the Japanese organizers will put them in 3 million yen per night suites at the Hotel Okura Tokyo, ANA Intercontinental Tokyo and other 5-star establishments, making up the 2.9 million yen per night shortfall.
So then, what is Saiki's proposed solution to the impending mess? Wait until 2022, he proposes, when Japan can host a full-scale "normal," Olympics, with stands full of vaccinated spectators. "Inbound from abroad alone could generate 2 trillion yen in revenues," he says fancifully.© RikiWeb