Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
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Jul 16, 2015

Japan architect defends stadium plan as anger grows

TOKYO (Reuters) – The architect who oversaw the selection of plans for Japan’s new Olympic stadium defended the controversial design on Thursday, saying ballooning costs were not his fault even as the government appeared poised to consider cost-cutting changes.

Last month’s announcement that costs for the new National Stadium had surged to $2.1 billion, nearly double original estimates, set off a firestorm among the public, skeptical about spending so much when the country is still recovering from the 2011 disasters that left nearly 20,000 dead.

Jul 16, 2015

Japan architect defends Olympic stadium plan as anger grows

TOKYO (Reuters) – The architect who oversaw the selection of plans for Japan’s new Olympic stadium defended the controversial design on Thursday, saying ballooning costs were not his fault even as the government appeared poised to consider cost-cutting changes.

Last month’s announcement that costs for the new National Stadium had surged to $2.1 billion, nearly double the original estimates, set off a firestorm among the public, skeptical about spending so much when the country is still recovering from the 2011 disasters that left nearly 20,000 dead.

Jul 16, 2015

Olympics-Japan architect defends stadium plan as anger grows

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) – The architect who oversaw the selection of plans for Japan’s new Olympic stadium defended the controversial design on Thursday, saying ballooning costs were not his fault even as the government appeared poised to consider cost-cutting changes.

Last month’s announcement that costs for the new National Stadium had surged to $2.1 billion, nearly double original estimates, set off a firestorm among the public, skeptical about spending so much when the country is still recovering from the 2011 disasters that left nearly 20,000 dead.

Jul 13, 2015

Japan cinema legend Miyazaki joins protests against move to widen military role

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan cannot use military strength to counter China, Hayao Miyazaki, famed director of the Oscar-winning film “Spirited Away”, said on Monday, as he joined a chorus of protest against a change in Japan’s security policy.

Miyazaki, 74, has long spoken out against war and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s desire for measures allowing broader use of Japan’s military, particularly in his final film, “The Wind Rises”, which earned him accusations of being a traitor.

Jul 8, 2015

Japan Olympics Minister says reports of illegal funds ‘completely groundless’

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Olympics minister said on Wednesday a report that his political support groups had received illegal funds was “completely groundless”, while a top official said it would pose no problems for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

The issue arises at a delicate time for Abe, who is trying to enact a sweeping change of security policy despite widespread public opposition, and also as outrage grows over ballooning costs for Tokyo’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games in 2020.

Jul 1, 2015

IOC says Tokyo’s preparation ‘outstanding’, costs need watching

TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) – The cost of venues for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will have to be carefully watched and managed despite previous cuts, but otherwise the Japanese capital’s preparations are “outstanding,” IOC Vice President John Coates said on Wednesday.

Japan said on Monday that the new National Stadium, the centrepiece for Tokyo’s second hosting of the Summer Games, will cost more than $2 billion, nearly twice the original estimate, and be completed in May 2019, two months later than expected.

Jun 30, 2015

Small volcanic eruption closes parts of resort near Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – A small volcanic eruption at a Japanese hot springs resort not far from Tokyo prompted authorities on Tuesday to further limit access to the area, warn that more eruptions were possible and urge a handful of people to evacuate.

Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active nations, has suffered a recent spate of eruptions, including one that forced the evacuation of a southern island. In September, 63 people died when a peak crowded with hikers suddenly erupted.

Jun 29, 2015

Japan stadium to cost over $2 billion, stick with basic design

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s trouble-plagued new National Stadium, the centerpiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, will cost more than $2 billion to build, nearly twice the original estimate, and be completed two months later than first thought, officials said on Monday.

The new stadium, which will replace a now-destroyed venue built for the 1964 Summer Games, has been beset by woes including sky rocketing costs, feuding over funding and criticism of the design as too grandiose for its intended site.

Jun 29, 2015

Olympics-Japan stadium to cost over $2 billion, stick with basic design

TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) – Japan’s trouble-plagued new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, will cost more than $2 billion to build, nearly twice the original estimate, and be completed two months later than first thought, officials said on Monday.

The new stadium, which will replace a now-destroyed venue built for the 1964 Summer Games, has been beset by woes including sky rocketing costs, feuding over funding and criticism of the design as too grandiose for its intended site.

Jun 25, 2015

Japan’s Endo faces finance, feuding and stadium fuss

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan appointed its first Olympics minister on Thursday, naming a veteran politician to a cabinet post created just last month to guide the country through preparations for the 2020 Summer Games – and a host of thorny issues.

Though Tokyo won the games largely due to its organizational prowess, the last year has seen the rolling back of bid promises of a cosy, downtown event, ballooning construction costs and messy arguments between Tokyo and the national government over the tab for the new National Stadium.