A new analysis from Japan’s biggest economic research firm predicts canceling the Tokyo Olympics would cost the country about $16.5 billion.
The Nomura Research Institute, a privately owned firm under Japan’s Nomura Group, said in the estimate that scrapping the Summer Games, scheduled to begin July 23, could mean massive losses for Japan’s Olympic-affiliated entities and the economy at large, the Chunichi Shimbun reported Tuesday.
Nomura’s executive economist, Takahide Kiuchi, said the losses amount to about 1.8 trillion yen, or about $16.5 billion.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to hold the Games without spectators from overseas. Kiuchi said economic losses are expected to reach $1.35 billion under a “no-spectator” scenario.
Kiuchi, a former member of the board of the Bank of Japan, also said in his analysis that bringing in an “unlimited” number of domestic spectators to the Games could boost earnings.
Assuming the COVID-19 situation stabilizes in Japan, the total economic impact of such a scenario would lead to $16.65 billion in Olympic-related revenue for the Japanese economy, Kiuchi said.
The Japanese government and the IOC have agreed the Olympics are to take place this summer, despite popular opposition to the Games.
Representatives of the committee say canceling is not an option.
Dick Pound, an IOC member, told CNN Tuesday that the Games would take place as scheduled and that the Olympics can safely take place in a “bubble.”
“All the indications are that the bubble can be created and maintained and daily, or whatever the frequency of tests will be, will identify any indications that there may be some people having the virus that are there. They’ll be put into isolation right away,” Pound said.