On Friday, Abe announced plans to start over from scratch, adding that Japans’ sports and Olympics ministers will now choose a new design. “We are disappointed by today’s announcement”, said Shimazu.

The tournament is the first Rugby World Cup awarded to an Asian country.

Japan’s prime minister has revealed that designs for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo are to be scrapped and started again.

The proposed stadium for the Tokyo games faced growing criticism as the estimate of its cost rose to 252 billion yen (£1.3bn). “We will minimize the cost as much as we can and make one that is best and realistic”. Construction of the new stadium had been set to start this fall on the site of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Stadium, which was demolished earlier this year.

Abe ordered a complete review of the plans and also opened the bidding process for the stadium.

Nothing definite was said about where the events would be held instead, but media reports said the final could be held at Yokohama’s global Stadium, which hosted the 2002 football World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.

“World Rugby is urgently seeking further detailed clarification from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and will need to consider the options relating to the impact of today’s announcement”.

Mr. Abe’s approval ratings, already under pressure from the passage of unpopular national-security legislation that gives Japan’s military increased powers, have taken a hit from the Olympic Stadium debate.

Hadid’s office blamed soaring construction costs in Tokyo and a tight deadline.

Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said the contract with Hadid would be cancelled, and a new global competition would be completed within six months.

That design, chosen by a panel led by famed architect Tadao Ando in 2012, is by British architect Zaha Hadid. Some people likened the design to a bicycle helmet.