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SBD Global/October 28, 2013/Olympics

Japan To Scale Down Plans For Tokyo Olympic Stadium Amid Cost Fears

Japan "is scaling down the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following an uproar from some prominent architects who believe that it is too big and expensive," according to the AP. Sports Minister Hakubun Shimomura has told lawmakers the stadium, which has been designed by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, would cost 300B yen ($3.1B), and that was "too massive a budget." The 80,000-seat, futuristic-looking stadium had been billed as costing 130B yen ($1.34B). The minister's "updated estimate includes surrounding construction and infrastructure costs." Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, a recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, "recently criticised the new stadium's size and urged that it be reworked to 'a more sustainable stadium.'" About 100 experts "support his view and question whether it is environmentally responsible and practical" (AP, 10/25). The ASIA NEWS NETWORK's Yomiuri Shimbun reported the Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology Ministry said that "the downsizing may be accomplished by simplifying some structures, such as passageways connecting the stadium to nearby stations." As for cutting expenses, Shimomura said, "We’ll keep the original design. The stadium will fit the criteria of the International Olympic Committee, but the surrounding facilities will be downsized" (ANN, 10/25).
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