TOKYO —The Japanese government approved Friday a proposed contract with a joint venture to build Tokyo’s new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the capital, at a construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.47 billion).
The stadium construction project is integral to the success of the Games, Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa told reporters after chairing a ministerial meeting where the deal was approved.
According to Marukawa, Kazumi Ohigashi, president of the stadium’s operator Japan Sports Council, presented to the meeting the results of negotiations between JSC and the joint venture led by construction giant Taisei Corp.
Following the signing of the contract, expected sometime soon, the joint venture is forecast to begin construction in December, with the scheduled completion at the end of November 2019. The stadium is designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Costs in the proposed contract come in under a cap of 155 billion yen previously set by the government.
The meeting also covered a series of points on the post-2020 operations of the stadium compiled by a working group in the Japan Sports Agency, Marukawa said.
The government will likely aim to privatize the stadium following the Games, and will consider its potential to host soccer and athletics events as well as non-sports events.
Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike attended the meeting the day after a working group she set up in the metropolitan government suggested reconsidering plans to build new venues for the 2020 Games’ swimming, volleyball and rowing and canoe sprint events in order to cut costs.
“I will keep raising my voice so that (the stadium) will be used for (the benefit of) the people of Tokyo, to make up for the burden that Tokyo has to bear,” Koike told reporters after the meeting held at the prime minister’s office.
Photo Caption: Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, left, speaks about his design of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium in this Jan 15 file photo. Credit: AP
Japan’s Gov’t OKs Y149 bil contract for new National Stadium