New Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has pledged to ensure the amount of money spent on the Japanese capital’s hosting of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics does not continue to balloon, vowing to hold a “cost-efficient” Games in four years’ time.
The Japanese Weightlifting Federation President, who became the first female to take up the Governor's position when she claimed victory in last month’s election, will play a key role in overseeing preparations for the event.
Tokyo 2020 have faced numerous issues, including a plagiarism row involving the logo, fears over the construction of the National Stadium and a suspicious payment made to Black Tidings, a Singapore-based firm with links to the son of former International Olympic Committee member Lamine Diack.
Koike, who received the Olympic Flag from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony on August 21, has promised to help restore “credibility” to hosting the event.
“We should focus more on sustainability and credibility in planning the Olympics,” Koike told The Associated Press.
“The triple-R of reduce, reuse and recycle perfectly fits global sustainability and waste management.”
Koike, a former Defence Minister within the Japanese Government, already has a number of important items relating to the Games in her in-tray after she beat her nearest rival by more than a million votes.
The 64-year-old is facing a dilemma over the relocation of the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo to a site which has high soil contamination.
She has reportedly decided to defer a decision on the issue until November, but there are worries the delay might affect preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games as the relocation is linked to the construction of a main road, which would be used at Tokyo 2020.
Koike was chosen as the replacement for Yōichi Masuzoe, who stepped down in June following allegations he had embezzled public funds for personal expenses.
The turnout for the election was low at about 27 per cent but voters overwhelmingly backed Koike, a one-time television news anchor who speaks English as well as Arabic, which she learned as a student in Egypt.
Koike, though, could face expulsion from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) after she ran as an independent following the party's decision to back another candidate, Hiroya Masuda.
Hakubun Shimomura, special adviser to LDP President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, claimed Koike's campaign had been an "anti-party act" and they would discuss how to punish her.
The LDP is the ruling party in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.