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New Tokyo Olympic Stadium approved by Japan’s government

The Japanese government has approved a US$1.5 billion contract to build the new main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Construction of the Stadium is slated to begin in December this year, with scheduled completion set for November 2019.

The new Stadium design replaces an earlier design by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the costs of which had risen to US$2.65 billion before it was scrapped.

The Stadium will be built by a joint venture of Taisei Corp., architects Azusa Sekkei Co. and the office of Kengo Kuma, the architect who designed the new Stadium.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said she would closely monitor the expensive project that the city is also part-funding. She said:

For the burden we have to share, I will ensure it’s utilized for the people of Tokyo, and raise my voice when necessary.

The Tokyo metropolitan government is currently reviewing the ballooning cost because of concern about its financial burden and the impact on Tokyo taxpayers.

The city-appointed panel of outside experts warned last week that the total cost could exceed US$30 billion without a dramatic cost-cutting effort.

The panel has suggested making maximum use of already existing facilities to keep costs down.

Image courtesy Japan Sport Council