National / Politics

Tokyo governor lashes out at Abe administration for Olympic stadium turmoil

Kyodo

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe blasted the education and sports ministry and lawmakers for trying to push ahead with the costly National Stadium plan before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scrapped it.

In a blog post Monday, Masuzoe, who had been critical of the stadium plan before it was dropped, proposed that Abe and his Cabinet ministers form a headquarters to lead the project to build a new centerpiece stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Abe scrapped the stadium design conceived by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid after public criticism rose to a fever pitch over its soaring construction cost.

Masuzoe wrote that the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is “incapable and irresponsible and that is the foremost reason behind the mistake.”

He called on the Japan Sport Council to suspend the activities of its advisory panel on the stadium project, saying none of the panel’s members has any architectural expertise.

The governor also criticized lawmakers, contractors and other people involved in the project for making decisions behind closed doors.

The new arena will replace the National Stadium that was built in central Tokyo for the 1964 Summer Olympics and was demolished earlier this year.