An expert panel commissioned by Japan's capital city has warned that the total cost for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could exceed 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) unless drastic cost-cutting measures are taken.
The panel on Thursday said the ballooning costs reflect an absence of leadership and a lack of governance and awareness of cost control.
The Olympic investigation panel, led by Shinichi Ueyama, a Keio University public policy professor, was launched by newly elected Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike as part of broader reforms after she raised concerns about ever-growing unofficial cost estimates and the potential burden on the city and its taxpayers.
The report reviewed three out of seven permanent venues that Tokyo is planning to build and proposed using existing locations rather than new facilities that could end up being white elephants.
The estimated 3 trillion yen is more than a four-fold increase from the initial estimate at the time of Tokyo's successful bid for the games in 2013. Organisers have not released their official estimate.
To cut costs, the report proposed moving the rowing and canoeing venue away from Tokyo and renovating existing facilities for two other sports.
Preparations for the games have been plagued by a series of scandals, including the new national stadium's high cost and design, and allegations of bribery in the bidding process.