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Okinawa wins rights for 2010 All Japan athletics

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

Okinawa will host the All Japan High School Athletic Meeting next year, but not everyone’s happy about the selection.

Hosting the event will be expensive, and many municipal leaders are saying it’s a headache and a financial problem for them. The event, officially the Churashima Okinawa Synthetic Athletic Meeting 2010, is projected to cost ¥2.1 billion. The problem is that the Prefecture wants to spend only ¥1.3 billion, a figure that falls far short. Negotiations with the cities, towns and villages on cost sharing has tentatively boosted the Okinawa Prefecture share to ¥1.8 billion, but prefecture officials say they don’t know where to cut budgets to get the money.

More than 100,000 are expected to visit Okinawa for the athletic games, and ¥400 million is earmarked just for flights and hotel costs for about 1,000 games officials. Okinawa’s hot and humid weather means 11 games venues will have to be air conditioned at a cost of ¥200 million, and the need for buses and cars will be expensive, organizers say, since the island has no train systems. The need for volunteers is known, but officials say transportation costs of moving them from venue to venue will also be expensive.

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