national

Warnings on Olympic's cost rises were ignored say Japan stadium designers

40 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Click For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


40 Comments
Login to comment

"There is also the chance that Hadid, who has said she wanted to remain involved in plans for the stadium, could sue"

And so she should, after her design won Japan the bid, they screwed it up more than twice, revised it, and then dumped it altogether AND many bitter Japanese people blaming solely her for some reason, as though she were in charge of the bid-rigging, cost of materials jumping up due to consumption tax hikes, and shortage of workers! She'd never see anything from it, though -- just more finger-pointing on this side and complete lack of accountability.

As for the guy resigning for 'unrelated personal reasons' and the 'regular shuffle', I think the functional word would be 'reshuffle' -- he'll get an amakudari job he's not qualified for, and no one else will take responsibility for the colossal screw-ups.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

I wouldn't be surprised if in 2020 we look back at the stadium fiasco as one of the minor scandals. I suspect there are bigger outrages to come. Hang onto your wallets taxpayers, here we go.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

if she and her firm still got paid, then what are the grounds for her lawsuit? and i never heard of anyone blaming her for the scandal. they pilloried her design and that was it. it was more of a nationalistic outcry that a japanese architect should have been allowed to design the stadium. just more bleating from SIJ.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"Japan’s reputation for organizational prowess"? Everyone knows these fools couldnt organize a p@ss up in a brewery.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Looks like the folks of Boston got it right for putting an end to their city's Olympic bid. Tokyo (and by extension the rest of us taxpayers in the country) will be dishing out major year from now until 2020 and probably beyond.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

*major yen

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i thought Honest Abe was in charge now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wait wait wait.... Abe scraped the plans, the design was chosen by "famous" Japanese architects and this guy was appointed this position.... Seems like the fall guy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This stadium is turning out to be a bigger scandal than the Sydney Opera House! I hope they get there act together soon. I'd hate to see contestants throwing javelins around Yoyogi park!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sound like the funds were ate up from the inside...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, he sure is Hitomigoku, i.e. a sacrifice

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nakanoguy1: "if she and her firm still got paid, then what are the grounds for her lawsuit? and i never heard of anyone blaming her for the scandal."

Selective reading, perhaps?

(CH3CHO) "She should be, for claiming what costs 252 billion yen could be made at 130 billion yen."

(CH3CHO) "I think the burden of proof is on her side. She designed and claimed that the building is within the budget at the competition."

Those are just two from: http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/abe-to-revise-olympic-stadium-plans-rugby-world-cup-misses-out

Those are just a couple from the article a few days ago, and there were more as people, myself aside, keep saying, "Stop bashing the architect", etc. to the posters who were doing so, especially on the "Ando Was In Surgery When the Decisions Were Made" article:

(CH3CHO again) "Why blame Ando? Zaha Hadid proposed the plan with the price tag less than 1300 billion. Ando was the chairman of a panel that chose her plan. Now, it is said that her plan actually costs more than 2500 billion. Her plan with a price tag of 1300 billion must have looked a lot better than other plans at the competition. I would blame Zaha Hadid."

http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/architect-ando-defends-selection-of-olympic-stadium-as-anger-grows

Hmm... okay, so it was mostly just him, but there WERE others. And you are correct in that there was a lot of uproar by Japanese architects about why a foreigner was chosen. As to why she should be able to sue, that's easy: Imagine something of yours is chosen to be brought into existence, promised, and then reneged on. It's not just about money. If part of her contract was that the stadium would be built, then she should sue, plain and simple.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kimito Kubo, a 58-year-old official in the sports ministry who headed a division overseeing construction of the stadium, would resign for personal reasons

and is looking forward to his next role on a corporate audit committee

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There is an issue of trust, Is Japan can be trusted? There is a big chance of No, we can only hope that everything's fine before 2020.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kobe White Bar Owner You took the words right out of my mouth. Tokyo's organising committee is a laughing stock.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@gogogo/@christie Of course he's a sacrifice.

The worry about that, however, is that the people left behind after he is gone will still be there to possibly cock it all up again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kimito Kubo, a 58-year-old official in the sports ministry who headed a division overseeing construction of the stadium, would resign for personal reasons, the ministry said on Tuesday.

“This was a general decision made as part of a standard personnel reshuffle,” Shimomura told reporters, noting that the question of responsibility would be addressed by a third party commission tasked with looking into the matter.

What a bunch of BS? How do they say this stuff with a straight face? Abe and his cronies have laready decided "the question of responsibility" by publicly flogging this poor grunt, and all the "third party commission" will do is confirm it. But you really do have to admire the gall of these guys.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is it too late to make scapegoating an Olympic sport? Japan would be a shoo-in.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

would resign for personal reasons

because he's crap

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"She should be, for claiming what costs 252 billion yen could be made at 130 billion yen."

I imagine -- correct me if I am wrong -- that Zaha Hadid formulated her designs in 2012 and early 2013. In late 2012, at about 125 yen to the pound, 130 billion yen was just over £1 billion. But thanks almost exclusively to Abenomics, it now costs almost 200 yen to buy one pound, making 252 billion yen today just over £1.3 billion. In US dollars, the figures are similar. That's only a 30% overrun when priced internationally. How can anyone expect a British architect to price in the effects of an intentionally-engineered currency crash that would make the costs of "her design" soar?

And yes, she should sue. Her payment goes beyond just the £ she is paid in: she is also expecting to be "paid" in the form of fame and prestige when her design is used by the world's best athletes and seen by millions of viewers. Dumping her design because of soaring costs that are largely the fault of Japanese government policy is putting blame where it most emphatically does not belong. Dump the design because it looks hideous? Sure. But because of cost? She has plenty of people to share the blame with there.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This alternative proposal was created for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium and more importantly the people of Japan and the world. Please have a look and like the page if you support the idea. The Land of the Rising Sun project.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tokyo2020-Olympic-Stadium-Proposal/381935252005134

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the contractor was named before any invitation to submit cost estimates and without any international competition

A signed, blank cheque? You couldn't make this up!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder if it's common for major building and construction projects like these in Tokyo to go over-budget. If so, it's not a stretch to think some contractors' and politicians' pockets are getting lined. Multiply that x times with a project of this scale.

Perhaps there is one good thing about abandoning Hadid's design which I just find unattractive. Does anyone know if she's into cycling? Because that looks like one monstrous biker helmet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Zaha Hadid is infamous for taking money from despotic regimes that go on to build her wasteful structures using slave labor. No idea why people are so eager to defend her.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"International competition for construction" Zaha hadid was the one to shrinked costs. Its Tokyo. Its very expe sive. What was she thinking

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Doesn't matter what Zaha thinks, she/her firm got paid for the design whether the Japanese Olympics use it or not. As far as the Olympics go, its on par with the FIFA scandal when it comes to selecting where the next Olympics will take place and all the corrupt politicians and their construction company cronies too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

thought some1 would have pulled me up on this by now but either way... organization is not synonymous with being able to give, take and follow orders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

So this is why Hedid is able to sue?

Hedid already submitted Kihon Sekkei and Jisshi Sekkei of 2 year works.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just hold the event in some elementary school sports ground. Is there any need for a big stadium? We can all watch it on TV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Olympic venues have all lost money since they were first studied in 1960. An astounding cost over run of over 200% for the most recent venues is no longer justifiable for seventeen days of competitions.

It is time for the IOC to be dismantled and the corruption from it's monopoly structure be addressed just as the FIFA scandal proved monopoly and corruption go hand in hand.

As offered many times before, regional centers for sport and cultural exchange should be established and used as rotating venues to host the Olympics and perpetuate improvement at each individual venue.

Boston, Massachusetts has thankfully been spared the Olympic Games and it's citizens should breathe a sigh of relief.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@alba: I don't go to stadium or watch on TV but there are many foreign people visit Olympic stadium. These seat ticked sales are pretty good income. One MLB texas team has balloon ceiling so that rainy day, it still has visiters. Just income producing ceiling. And huge ad income Japan Inc compete to pay ad money. Then televising ad income. GVMT ia planning to begin construction in Feb. I doubt it can start as it does not seem to use Haidi design but we have to wait what Abe will do. Maybe scrap Ministry of Olympic?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Initially, there was talk of possibly renovating the National Olympic Stadium. This might be a better option of adding about 20-30,000 seats on the second deck and upgrade the stadium at less than half of the cost compare to building a new stadium.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has NO organizational prowess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too many people to pay off, positions for cronies to fill & notoriously inefficient planning are what kept and will keep costs high for the 2020 Olympics. Japan can't escape this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Initially, there was talk of possibly renovating the National Olympic Stadium. This might be a better option of adding about 20-30,000 seats on the second deck and upgrade the stadium at less than half of the cost compare to building a new stadium.

I believe they already tore it down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@sij

you said many bitter japanese people. i don't think ch3 and some unnamed posters count. your statement is still wildly offbase.

imagine that you are a customer and paid someone to write a biography of your life. you discuss the outline of the story and then pay them to start writing it. you suddenly decide not to write the bio anymore but still pay for the writer's services. so you think that the writer can sue you for not letting her write the story? makes sense to me!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They put a government bureaucrat in a sealed room with 3 ball bearings and left him for an hour. When they came back he had lost one, broken one, and had the third one in his pocked to take home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the contractor was named before any invitation to submit cost estimates and without any international competition

Now Abe has declared that he is going to take responsibility for the stadium he should explain why there was no competitive bidding process for the stadium construction. He should also explain why overseas contractors were excluded, in violation of Japan's WTO treaty obligations on government procurement. Perhaps he could also comment on the effect of Abenomics and how much construction costs have increased due to his own policies?

I won't hold my breath waiting for Japanese "journalists" to ask these questions though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I bet you that the "economical" replacement design will come in at a price very close to the estimates for the original, probably because they will have to rush-build it. They shouldn't have scrapped these plans until they had a fully-planned alternative ready to get started on.

People shouldn't be letting the fact that the winning design (in a fair and open contest) was from a non-Japanese architect cloud their judgement - the proposed Japanese designs were worse (and equally extravagant), in my view, and the cost of building any of them depends on raw materials and labour provided by Japanese construction companies.

Fiasco.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@frontandcentre

Nice hypotheticals buddy, nice job showing proof for your assertions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites