(AP) – Japan scrapped the design of the Olympic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Games because of spiraling costs and reopened bidding for a new plan in a stunning reversal on Friday.
Masaharu Hioki, a lawyer specializing in landscape-related issues and a member of a group called the Custodians of the National Stadium, Tokyo that has similarly spoken out against the stadium plans, commented, “We pushed hard until the last moment, and thereby prevented the worst-case scenario from occurring”.
Japan’s three-time Olympic women’s wrestling gold medalist Saori Yoshida (R) lights a torch during the official farewell event for the national stadium in Tokyo on May 31, 2014. The organization said it is seeking clarification from the Japanese organizing committee and looking at the impact of Friday’s announcement.
The decision will mean the organisers of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will have to find a new venue for the final.
It is believed that Yokohama’s 72,000-capacity stadium, which hosted the final of football’s World Cup in 2002, will stage the rugby showpiece.
Wrangling between Abe’s government and Tokyo over surging costs for the new Olympic stadium had escalated after Shimomura suggested to the prime minister’s office that Tokyo shoulder some of the burden.
Announcing the cancellation on Friday, Mr Abe said: “I have been listening to the voices of the people and the athletes for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review”. “We will minimize the cost as much as we can and make one that is best and realistic”.
Japanese officials say the contract with Zaha Hadid’s architecture firm will be cancelled, and a new design chosen within six months.
He said that he had made the decision after being assured that it was still possible to complete construction of a new design in time for the Olympics.
A coalition of famous Japanese architects, including Pritzker Prize victor Fumihiko Maki, Sou Fujimoto, and many others, threw an incredible amount of shade-at least for the architecture world-at the design of their colleague. “The real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in Tokyo and a fixed deadline”, the statement reads. One of the big draws for Tokyo to host the Games was their ZHA-designed stadium, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga admitted to a press conference earlier today.
In a statement, Zaha Hadid Architects said the business has worked with the Japan Sports Council to create the national stadium, and said it was “absolutely right” that the benefits and costs be considered clearly and communicated accurately.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe today announced that the plans for the controversial new Zaha Hadid-designed Natioal Stadium being built for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo will be revised.
For the nation to work together to make a success of the Tokyo Olympics, the new National Stadium, the symbol of the event, must never be the object of suspicious looks from the public. Some also questioned the need for a planned retractable roof, especially once the estimated total cost ballooned to over 250 billion yen.