• Kyodo

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The groundbreaking ceremony for the new National Stadium, the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will be held on Dec. 11, a Japan Sports Council source revealed Saturday.

With an estimated construction time of 36 months, the stadium should be completed by November 2019. The source from the JSC, the venue’s operator, said that the paperwork will be completed in the coming week and that work can commence from the day after — possibly well ahead of the ceremony.

The JSC agreed in October to ink a ¥149 billion ($1.32 billion) contract with a joint venture involving construction giant Taisei Corp., ending a chaotic bidding process that saw the original design by late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid scrapped after a public outcry over its ballooning costs and imposing, futuristic design.

Last December, the central government selected renowned architect Kengo Kuma to takeover the stadium project. In October, he revealed a scaled-down, wood-rich Japanese-style interior decoration scheme for the venue.

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