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Tokyo Gov Koike asked to stop plan to remake park, baseball stadium

26 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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was asked Tuesday to stop a disputed project to convert a city park district, renowned for its rows of 100-year-old ginkgo trees, into a largely commercial area anchored around three skyscrapers. A group of 420 outside experts including architects, urban planners, environmentalists and economists demanded in an open letter and news conference that the project be suspended

Who asked to stop? Are they politicians with strong influence? If no, then nothing will happen and project will still continue.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

I support the proposed plan to preserve the vista of Yoyogi’s ginkgo-lined street, limit the height of buildings around those trees, and transition to three stadiums/grounds (from the current number of five), thus increasing open space and greenery percentage.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

My money is on it going ahead. The construction industry sees nothing scenic that it doesn't think could use a few thousand tons of concrete. It would cover the whole country in concrete, if it could.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Nothing but pocket lining by crooked politicians.

How do you tell if a politician is lying? Their mouth is open.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

They have all this money for destruction of parks but the public swimming pool at Komazawa Park damaged by the 2011 earthquake still sits with weeds and has not been fixed. Disgusting lack of accountability.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Tokyo would do well by looking at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the only to have ever hosted two Olympic Games (and soon its third). Its function as a space of common civic harmony is invaluable, far outweighing anything that could come from additional housing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Memorial_Coliseum

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Who asked to stop? Are they politicians with strong influence? If no, then nothing will happen and project will still continue.

It's right in the article.

A group of 420 outside experts including architects, urban planners, environmentalists and economists demanded in an open letter and news conference that the project be suspended and suggested Koike was ignoring public discontent and bowing to the powerful construction industry.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The plan for the Jingu Gaien area calls for razing a famous baseball stadium...

Razing? Are they using artillery or missile strikes to bring it down?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

The plan for the Jingu Gaien area calls for razing a famous baseball stadium where Babe Ruth played and rebuilding it, part of a vast construction project that threatens thousands of trees in a city with limited green space.

So what if Ruth played there. They CAN easily take down and rebuild the stadium without destroying the trees.

If there's a will, there's a way!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Like building skyscrapers in Central Park New York?

That's exactly what Tokio will be doing in Tokio.

Not only beautiful, gingko trees breathe oxygen into Tokio citizens every minute of every day. Gingko are beautiful trees in all seasons. In the fall their colour turn a most beautiful dreamy yellow. They also make a beautiful healthy tea!

Wake up Tokio! Do not make the world laugh at you for being so stupid and foolish as to cut down hundreds of beautiful hundred year old gingko trees!!

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

The kickbacks have already been paid. It is too late.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Key word is "kickback"...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

You will all bow to Corporate Japan. Koike is in our pocket now. Remember you just work here.

Time to make up your minds. Do you want your job or do you want to be unemployed living under the Gingko trees?

Anyway, forget about this news. This is not your fight. Go on about your lives. Take your kids to a baseball game.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Hard to believe she was ever the environment minister.

I cringed whenever I saw her advertising spin on a green Olympics and her current one on a green Tokyo.

The last thing the people of Tokyo need or want are more soul-less and characterless skyscrapers

It was also very sneaky the way they were going to steamroll this through without most people even knowing about until a few concerned citizens raised their voices when they first found out.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The people of Japan need to find their ballsackz and just have a peaceful sit in chaining themselves to the regal ginkgo trees. Bulldozers will stop.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I'm all for decentralisation - getting people and companies out of Tokyo and into the regions. But I think I'm pretty alone on that idea.

You can't stop progress - particularly when Tokyo's population is growing - fast - all the time. People need shops, and places to work. Perhaps a statue of Babe Ruth in the vicinity of the old Jingu Stadium would be fitting. Retention of as many ginkgo trees as is practical.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

""and suggested Koike was ignoring public discontent and bowing to the powerful construction industry.""

That is exactly the case, someone or a group are behind this disaster and it would not surprise me if some major politicians and behind it too, and have already received the brown envelops and can't backdown.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You can't stop progress - particularly when Tokyo's population is growing - fast - all the time. People need shops, and places to work. 

This is largely a spurious argument.

While the population of Tokyo (the 23 wards) is continuing to grow, its hardly "fast" - on a population of about 14 million its only adding a few thousand a year, and even that trend is likely to reverse course in the coming years as the demographic collapse affecting the rest of the country catches up to it. This is obvious from data on the larger Tokyo metro area outside the 23 wards, where the population is already declining.

Also, most of the buildings that are going to be constructed are going to be office space. Tokyo does not need more of that. Its office vacancy rates are currently at 10 year highs and rents on existing spaces are down 30% from what they were 3 years ago. These offices are just going to add to an already saturated market.

What Tokyo does need is more affordable housing - which is completely absent from this plan - not more pointless skyscrapers.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

@Fighto! When I lived in Japan in the 1990s they were considering moving many of the government ministries to Sendai and a few other places. Of course those plans eventually went no where.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not opposed to tearing down the stadium. It is unsightly.

Just because Babe Ruth played there and Mr. Murakami was inspired to write while there (this story seems fabricated by him) doesn't mean the place should never be torn down. You can't preserve every single place where something historical happened.

However if it is redeveloped it shouldn't become pricy shops and restaurants. It should be something that benefits most people regardless of their economic situation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Gonna fall on deaf hears, sorry. I'm sure she'll have the gall to say she wished she had the power to stop it or something like that, but it'll get done.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Koike is a typically corrupt politician (I know, that's redundant). Only listens to money, and doesn't actually give a rip about the environment.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Hervé L'Eisa I totally agree!!! Money over politics, money manipulates and corrupts politics. I bet MONEY, wins!!!

Koike is a typically corrupt politician (I know, that's redundant). Only listens to money, and doesn't actually give a rip about the environment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

portoJan. 17  08:11 am JST

Razing? Are they using artillery or missile strikes to bring it down?

Definitions from Oxford Languages · Learn more

raze

/rāz/

verb

completely destroy (a building, town, or other site).

"villages were razed to the ground"

Similar:

destroy demolish raze to the ground tear down pull down

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In a country with a declining population, building huge new residence buildings is absolutely unnecessary.

In a world beset by climate change, preserving and expanding greenspace is absolutely necessary.

The people need to elect politicians who prioritize the needs of the many, rather than lining the pockets of the few.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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