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Japan’s first skyscraper turns 30

Kasumigaseki Building, Japan’s first skyscraper, celebrates its 30th birthday today.

Though it has fallen to 47th place on the list of the country’s tallest buildings, its building technologies are still being adopted by new high-rises.

The 147-meter-tall building opened April 18, 1968, with 36 stories and three basement floors. When completed, Kasumigaseki Building was dubbed by the media a “gigantic tower of iron and concrete” and a “sky town of 15,000 people.”

Every month, 1 million people climbed to the observatory on the 36th floor to overlook the Tokyo cityscape until other skyscrapers began blocking the view.

A five-year renovation of Kasumigaseki started in 1989 to cope with office computerization. According to Kajima Corp., which built the high-rise, there are 160 buildings taller than 100 meters in Japan.

Landmark Tower in Yokohama is the tallest at 282 meters, followed by Rinku Gate Tower of Osaka at 254 meters.


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