Tokyo's government approved Friday a redevelopment plan which will see a historic baseball stadium demolished and trees donated to honor Japan's Emperor Meiji torn out, a move opponents called "shameful."

The project, which environmentalists say also threatens a boulevard of gingko trees, sparked an outcry among citizens that included petitions with tens of thousands of signatures.

Tokyo's government, however, said the plan would proceed, with Jingu Stadium and neighboring sports venues, including the home of Japanese rugby, to be bulldozed and rebuilt as part of a new high-rise complex.