Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Up, up, and away?

October 26, 2009

The race is on for the world’s tallest tower, pitting Japan against China and South Korea.

Tokyo’s Sky Tree Tower, now under construction, has upped its projected height by 24 meters to 634 metres, in hopes of toppling China’s Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower – due to be completed this year at 610 meters (2001 ft).

The Tokyo team are not shy about the resasons. Asked at a press conference why the extra height was needed Tobu Tower Skytree President Kinya Miyasugi told us he wanted it to be “the tallest in the world”.


Tokyo is aiming at the tallest freestanding tower (pictured as an artist’s impression)  rather than the tallest manmade structure, which is set to be the 818 meter Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

But the tallest tower would still be a marketing coup and Tokyo has time on its side versus Guangzhou’s version (pictured below ), which is due for completion this year — leaving Tokyo time to match any last minute growth spurt.

However even if Tokyo can win the tallest tower crown, it won’t hold onto it for long, as Seoul has already broken ground for the 640 meter tall DMC Landmark tower due for completion in 2015 and slated as “Asia’s tallest building”.


And Guangzhou’s title will soon be taken by Tokyo Sky Tree, the crown could return to China with the Shanghai Tower, currently slated for completion in 2014 at a height of 632 meters, only two meters shy of Tokyo Sky Tree and 8 meters shy of Seoul’s DMC Landmark Tower.

With Tokyo Sky Tree’s growth only due to an extension of its antenna, there is plenty of time for Shanghai to extend its own antenna and take back the bragging rights.


As the wife, of the designer of the Shanghai Tower, Marshall Strabala, it shouldn’t be about the meter height of these supertalls. THese bldgs are vertical cities. mega-metropolis regions of the world, have less land available in highly desireable areas. Reaching the sky is the answer. Being the tallest, is irrelevant. HOw sustainable are you.

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