Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
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Aug 4, 2015

Japan suspends work on U.S. base on Okinawa as Abe battles low ratings

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan said on Tuesday it was suspending construction of a contentious U.S. air base on the island of Okinawa for a month to give time for talks between the central government and island authorities opposed to the facility.

Residents of Okinawa, the site of bloody battles between U.S. and Japanese forces near the end of World War Two, have long objected to tens of thousands of U.S. troops and U.S. military installations on 18 percent of their island.

Jul 30, 2015

Japan says no problem as questions rise about Tokyo 2020 logo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Olympics organizers said there is no problem with their new emblem after discussions arose about possible plagiarism, with internet commentators suggesting there was a resemblance to an overseas logo.

The emblem, unveiled last week, had already gotten mixed reviews from the Japanese public and risks becoming the latest in a series of missteps to mar Japan’s can-do reputation as it prepares to host the summer Games for the second time in 2020.

Jul 30, 2015

Olympics-Japan says no problem as questions rise about Tokyo 2020 logo

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) – Tokyo Olympics organisers said there is no problem with their new emblem after discussions arose about possible plagiarism, with internet commentators suggesting there was a resemblance to an overseas logo.

The emblem, unveiled last week, had already gotten mixed reviews from the Japanese public and risks becoming the latest in a series of missteps to mar Japan’s can-do reputation as it prepares to host the summer Games for the second time in 2020.

Jul 28, 2015

Warnings on cost rises were ignored: Japan stadium designers

TOKYO (Reuters) – The firm of architects whose design for Japan’s new Olympic stadium was scrapped said the ballooning costs that doomed their plan were due partly to an uncompetitive selection of contractors and that warnings about this were ignored.

U.K.-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) also said on Tuesday it had initially learned that Japan was going “back to zero” on the stadium plan through news reports, and that it later received a “brief official notice” from the Japan Sport Council (JSC), which owns and runs the stadium, of the decision.

Jul 28, 2015

Olympics-Warnings on cost rises were ignored – Japan stadium designers

TOKYO, July 28 (Reuters) – The firm of architects whose design for Japan’s new Olympic stadium was scrapped said the ballooning costs that doomed their plan were due partly to an uncompetitive selection of contractors and that warnings about this were ignored.

U.K.-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) also said on Tuesday it had initially learned that Japan was going “back to zero” on the stadium plan through news reports, and that it later received a “brief official notice” from the Japan Sport Council (JSC), which owns and runs the stadium, of the decision.

Jul 28, 2015

Official in charge of Japan’s new National Stadium to resign

TOKYO (Reuters) – The official tasked with overseeing construction of Japan’s new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, is set to resign after plans for the arena were scrapped amid an outcry over soaring costs.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to take plans for the stadium “back to zero”, which also left the 2019 rugby World Cup without a venue for several key matches, has damaged Japan’s reputation for organisational prowess and set off a round of finger-pointing within the government.

Jul 28, 2015

Olympics-Official in charge of Japan’s new National Stadium to resign

TOKYO, July 28 (Reuters) – The official tasked with overseeing construction of Japan’s new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, is set to resign after plans for the arena were scrapped amid an outcry over soaring costs.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to take plans for the stadium “back to zero”, which also left the 2019 rugby World Cup without a venue for several key matches, has damaged Japan’s reputation for organisational prowess and set off a round of finger-pointing within the government.

Jul 24, 2015

Five years before 2020 Games, Tokyo pledges to beat woes, succeed

TOKYO (Reuters) – Exactly five years before the 2020 Summer Olympics open, hundreds gathered in a downtown Tokyo plaza on Friday to wave flags and cheer as organisers pledged to overcome a long string of troubles and make the Games a resounding success.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise decision last week to take plans for the centerpiece New National Stadium “back to zero” in the face of growing outrage over ballooning costs was the latest in a string of broken promises related to the Games, which Tokyo won two years ago based largely on its organizational prowess and reputation for efficiency.

Jul 24, 2015

Nothing in mind yet for stadium, says Japan Olympics minister

TOKYO (Reuters) – Exactly five years before the 2020 Summer Games open in Tokyo, Japan has yet to decide what it wants in its new National Stadium after scrapping a previous design due to ballooning costs, its Olympics minister said on Friday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise decision last week to take plans for the stadium “back to zero” in the face of growing outrage was the latest in a string of broken promises related to the Games, which Tokyo won two years ago based largely on its organisational prowess and reputation for efficiency.

Jul 24, 2015

Olympics-Nothing in mind yet for stadium, says Japan Olympics minister

TOKYO July 24 (Reuters) – Exactly five years before the 2020 Summer Games open in Tokyo, Japan has yet to decide what it wants in its new National Stadium after scrapping a previous design due to ballooning costs, its Olympics minister said on Friday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise decision last week to take plans for the stadium “back to zero” in the face of growing outrage was the latest in a string of broken promises related to the Games, which Tokyo won two years ago based largely on its organisational prowess and reputation for efficiency.