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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 September 16 - 29  > Revised plan for Tokyo Olympic Stadium is still too costly: architect
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2015 September 16 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Revised plan for Tokyo Olympic Stadium is still too costly: architect

September 20, 2015
Akahata Sunday edition

The Japan Sports Council (JSC), an organization related to the sports ministry, is inviting tenders for the construction project of a new national athletic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. An architectural economist, Moriyama Takashi, criticized the JSC’s new construction project as “too costly”. The following is an excerpt of his interview with Akahata:

The new plan lowered the upper limit of construction costs from 252 billion yen to 135 billion yen. Aside from giving up on installing a retractable roof supported by two huge keel arches, the new project is almost the same as the previous one. I estimate the new stadium can be built for less than 90 billion yen.

One of the problems that continues to exist is that the planned stadium’s floor area totals 195,000 square meters, which is only a little less than the scrapped project. This is 1.8 times the size of the London Olympic Stadium which has 80,000 seats.

The size of a sports stadium usually depends on its seating capacity. The number of seats of the new stadium is 68,000. On the assumption that each seat needs one square meter, the total space needed for seating should be 68,000 square meters. According to the revised plan, however, it requires 85,300 square meters. This is because 1,500 of all the seats will be replaced with the same number of “VIP rooms” which have an area of 12 square meters each.

The most serious problem is that the project requires constructors to build the facility with between 95% and 100% of the planned total floor space. Under such an inflexible project, it will be quite difficult for contractors and architectural designers to devise a good way to reduce construction costs. This requirement must be eliminated.

Another thing I want to point out is that the JSC is still managing the construction after its series of blunders. It is obvious that the organization is incapable of handling this project.


Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Tamura Tomoko condemned the planned construction costs as being too high at an Upper House sports committee meeting on September 8.

Tamura demanded that the authorities carefully review the current project and come up with a new construction plan which is more simple, economical, and harmonious with the surrounding forest.
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