The estimated cost of hosting the Olympics has spiraled. Because Japan is prone to earthquakes, buildings, even temporary facilities, have to be quake-resistant, causing Olympic costs to exceed budget estimates, she said. ”We should focus more on sustainability and credibility in planning the Olympics,” Koike told The Associated Press, adding that she will use her expertise as a former environment minister. ”The triple-R of reduce, reuse and recycle perfectly fits the global sustainability and waste management … I will make use of the idea for cost cutting.” She said there is a Japanese word for it – ”mottainai,” meaning ”what a waste.” For instance, Koike said, the idea is demonstrated in the Japanese Shinto tradition of rebuilding the holiest shrine of Ise every 20 years, in which some old materials are reused. Preparations are underway for the 2020 Olympics. Construction of the main stadium is slated to start toward the end of this year. Japan’s capital also hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. Koike has pledged to examine the spiraling costs to avoid saddling taxpayers with debt. A veteran national lawmaker who has held top Cabinet posts, Koike said she aims to achieve women’s advancement, diversity and policies such as animal rights beyond what the central government has done. The 64-year-old conservative faces challenges from the male-dominated ruling party that she defied to run for governor.
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