Skytree now tallest structure in Japan

Kyodo News

Tokyo Skytree, a new tower under construction for terrestrial digital broadcasting, reached 338 meters Monday, surpassing Tokyo Tower and becoming the tallest structure in Japan.

The new tower in Sumida Ward will be 634 meters tall when it is completed at the end of 2011. Tokyo Tower, a 333-meter radio and TV transmission tower in Minato Ward, was the country’s tallest structure for 52 years.

Even though Tokyo Skytree will not open to the public until spring 2012, it has already become a tourist attraction.

About 100 people were on hand Monday to witness the moment it overtook Tokyo Tower and applauded when a sign showing its height was updated to 338 meters, following the installation of an elevator section at the tip of the new tower at around 10 a.m.

“We are relieved that Skytree has become the tallest (structure) in Japan, but we will continue our construction work . . . to make it the world’s tallest self-standing radio tower,” said Tobu Tower Skytree Co., operator of Tokyo Skytree.

Saying more than 160 million people have visited Tokyo Tower, operator Nippon Television City Corp. pledged to continue its “service as a landmark in Tokyo” and celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2058.