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Tokyo to demolish historic baseball stadium despite outcry

31 Comments
By Andrew McKIRDY

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© 2023 AFP

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31 Comments
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The population is declining faster than ever, yet the destruction of trees and a historical stadium "must go forward".

If there's a riddle in here that I'm missing, will someone please explain?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

As always, money and profit over what the people actually want.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

A pox on Koike, who certainly ought to know better. I'll bet her quid pro pro is backing to make her prime minister. Blind ambition has a way of wrecking the environment.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's a shame about the stadium, but the bigger shame is the number of trees that they plan to cut down. Tokyo already has so few green spaces! I wonder if someone has a copy of that heat map that showed how hot it is in Tokyo compared to other cities in Japan that have more trees? Despicable of the government to go ahead with this despite the citizens being against it. (And honestly, which would cost more for taxpayers? Renovating an already-built stadium, or paying to have it all torn down and then have something new and bigger built over it? I expect we'll be paying far more for the latter. An absolute shame.)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The last thing Tokyo needs is another high rise complex, especially with the population nose diving.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Opposition had only grown in recent weeks.

This is because most people didn't know about it until a few weeks ago. The government tried to steamroll this through with as little publicity as possible. In fact, some of my Japanese friends in Tokyo didn't know about this until I mentioned it to them.

The leafy district at the heart of the battle was created 100 years ago as a "garden of relaxation and tranquility." 

How quickly we forget. Weren't the recent Olympics all about being "green"?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

let's keep ALL old buildings where they are! Hell there is a house in my neighborhood that is over 100 years old. No one lives there, but hell, it's "historical" as it survived WW2 bombings here in Okinawa.

Please, please, please, dont tear it down! It's the only one left.....

3 ( +11 / -8 )

I can't talk for Tokyo but here in Fukuoka one thing is absolutely certain, Japanese officials are against anything that's remotely green , ull stop. I counted myself over 600 trees that have been cut down in the last 12 months in my neighbourhood alone! The majority couldn't care less here. No one gives a sxxx about a tree. Green has no place in a Japanese city, it is a nuisance for most people here. It's terribly sad because summers here are total killers and shade would be very much appreciated but what you get instead is every inch concreted over. Man, I could go and on an.....

3 ( +7 / -4 )

First Harajuku station, now this. The rich and powerful really don't like Jingumae. I think they believe that everything should be exploited to increase their wealth and power, regardless of any other consideration.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

There is a sickness in destroying something that still has purpose and beauty. All the lives that shared those moments, of each other, the contest, all under the canopy of being out doors. Sounds, smells, and sights mold us to be better at being us...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dumb. A ball game at this stadium is far more enjoyable than the cigarette smoke stained Tokyo Dome. Demolish that instead.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Leave the trees and the stadium alone

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The best compromise in my opinion is to do what they did with the 1936. Olympic Stadium in Berlin. It was kept, but revamped.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is not about baseball, it is about identity. Jingu has it. Bu identity in Tokyo doesn't sell. And does Tokyo need another high-rise with Japan's decreasing population? Dig a little and you will eventually find a connection between the govt and the companies involved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NCIS Reruns:

A pox on Koike, who certainly ought to know better...

Like other large projects, such as Transfer of Tokyo Fish Market (Toyosu) and Olympic games, this is also one that Koike inherited from prvious Tokyo administrations.

In 2013, it became obvious that the current Jingu Baseball stadium did not meet required seismic standard, and a plan for reinforcement/rebuilding began. In 2015, a plan to build a new baseball stadium was announced.

Koike became the Tokyo Governor in 2016.

What Koike did to the project was to ensure the folloiwng six requirements ( so called "Governor's Six Demands").

(1) Ensure that a concentration of attractive, inclusive sports facilities that everyone can enjoy, the enhancement of greenery and open space, the creation of a lively space, landscaping that makes the most of the history and characteristics of the district and improved disaster preparedness.

(2) Taking into account the history of the Gardens as being built with donations from the public and trees donated by private volunteers, the plan should engage a broad range of citizens.

(3) In order to preserve the rich quality of the natural environment of the Jingu Gaien, each tree should be treated with care and developers should strive to preserve, or transplant, as many trees as possible.

(4) Detailed information on specific development plans and initiatives for citizen participation should be provided in an easy-to-understand manner to gain the support by the citizens of Tokyo for the redevelopment.

(5) Work toward the realization of a "zero-emission Tokyo," including the introduction of high-efficiency equipment and the active use of renewable energy.

(6) Take into account the perspective of children in the redevelopment, improving facilities and create opportunities to enjoy sports and greenery by families and children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Couldn't care less about the baseball stadium, but I will miss the Prince Chichibu rugby stadium. It has a cosy and intimate character for a sports venue in Japan, with no damn athletic track around the field to separate the fans from the action. As usual, Japan doesn't give a damn about tradition, history or nature.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A disposable society will dispose anything even the indispensable.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

who strictly enforced the lockdown in Tokyo? Who offers money for child support so people will stay in Tokyo and be confined to a 15-minute city? Who does the bidding of the gurobarists? Who is now building more housing units to accommodate people so they are surveilled and monitored efficiently in a city? Who is erasing historic monuments that celebrates human achievements? who is this gurovalists puppet?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

 A ball game at this stadium is far more enjoyable than the cigarette smoke stained Tokyo Dome. Demolish that instead.

Demolish Nagoya Dome while you're at it. The only good thing about dome baseball is you can get out of the summer humidity for a few hours.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Saw this one coming a mile away. No one. Literally, no one has a chance against any level of japanese government.

You will get run over if they deem so.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

A concrete financial decision without insider trading.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Wake up people. No government at any level cares what you think.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I don't see anything particularly noteworthy about this stadium. Japan demolishes plenty of stuff with historical or architectural value, but this doesn't seem to be one of them.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It is easy to say the proponents of knocking the stadium down were more concerned with money and power but the reverse could also be argued. If you own that land and you are not properly yielding a decent profit due to maintenance or design then continuing to own the property becomes a burden. The owner of Meiji Jingu Stadium is Meiji Shrine. It is always a tough choice but Babe Ruth played in many different stadiums and with few exceptions they're all gone and for a good reason. Interestingly enough Matsutaro Shoriki, the guy that organized the American tour back in 1934 that included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, he survived an assassination attempt for allowing foreigners to play on such hallowed ground. It is a "tough call", one that will probably require extreme scrutiny in its review.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

"The plans will see a new stadium built next to the famed gingko tree avenue that attracts massive crowds for its stunning autumn colors."

THIS is why they are doing it. Same reason they tore down a perfectly good stadium before the Olympics in order to build a new one, and of course later pretending that "It could not be helped! (like no one had objected) We could not have known the costs would be so high! We will keep costs as low as we can, say... five times the original budget." This is how the government keeps their cronies in business and gets kickbacks. People be damned, and the former Emperor Meiji, too.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

To be honest, i feel this is the right decision. What use is there in a stadium when no one is even going there? The maintanance cost alone over these decades must be sky high at this point. If the protestors want to keep to preserve it so much for pure nostalgia value, then maybe they should fork up the money to maintain it every year.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The last thing Tokyo needs is another high rise complex, especially with the population nose diving.

Japan needs wealthy Asian investors to invest in these high-rise buildings. Just like how London's real estate has been eviscerated by foreign elites for years!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

If the old Harajuku station got it, then a rundown baseball stadium should get it too.

And Harajuku is much less boring too. Fairs fair.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

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