Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
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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.

Jul 23, 2015

China envoy warns Japan not to backtrack on expressions of WW2 remorse

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to clearly express remorse for his nation’s World War Two actions or risk “rubbing salt in the wounds” of those who suffered, China’s ambassador to Japan said on Thursday.

Ties between the Asian neighbors have long been fraught due to China’s memories of Japan’s wartime aggression, but relations improved following meetings between Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping over the last year. Japanese government sources say another summit could well take place this year.

Jul 22, 2015

Tokyo 2020 head expects IOC to welcome stadium decision

TOKYO (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee may well welcome Japan’s decision to scrap and completely revise plans for its controversial National Stadium since the move will save money, the head of the Tokyo games organizing group said on Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week that he had decided to take the stadium plans back to square one in the face of growing public outrage over ballooning costs, as his support rates took a hit over unpopular defense bills.

Jul 22, 2015

Olympics-Tokyo 2020 head expects IOC to welcome stadium decision

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee may well welcome Japan’s decision to scrap and completely revise plans for its controversial National Stadium since the move will save money, the head of the Tokyo games organising group said on Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week that he had decided to take the stadium plans back to square one in the face of growing public outrage over ballooning costs, as his support rates took a hit over unpopular defence bills.