Tokyo 2020 'wooden' stadium ready to beat summer heat
Nikkei -- Jul 04
Japan's new Olympic stadium opened its doors to the media on Wednesday, showing off its nature-inspired design and advanced environmental features as it enters the final phase of construction.

A roof of wood and steel beams stretches over the seats of New National Stadium, the main event stage where the opening and closing ceremonies for next year's Summer Games will take place. Sand remained spread over the field itself, but turf is to be laid this month for track-and-field grounds set to be finished in August or September.

With just about a year to go, the structure is 90% complete, the Japan Sport Council said, with construction slated to finish at the end of November before an official unveiling on Dec. 21. Work is currently focused on external areas like pedestrian walkways, where decorative trees are being planted.

The three-tier stands will ultimately hold 60,000 seats, of which 45,000 are already in place. The chairs are colored with nature-evoking greens, browns and other shades, distributed at random. The lowest level will offer a close-up view of the athletes, while the stadium's north and south inner walls feature large, high-definition screens to show the action.

The building is designed to let in wind from outside, and has 185 large spot coolers for good measure. These fans are pointed to blow from the stands down toward the field and help keep heat from building up inside. Cool-mist emitters are set up at eight locations throughout the stadium.

Work began in December 2016 on plans drawn up by architect Kengo Kuma, with costs set to exceed 150 billion yen ($1.38 billion). Domestic lumber and other materials from throughout Japan play into a design the Japan Sport Council described as evoking wood's "warmth."

Should disaster strike, concourse space on the stadium's second and third floors can be used as shelters. The seating area has many exit routes, and spectators will reportedly be able to get outside the stadium within 15 minutes from any seat.

News source: Nikkei
May 30
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced Friday that phase two of the capital’s three-part plan to peel back coronavirus countermeasures will begin on Monday. (Japan Times)
May 30
The city of Kitakyushu in Japan's southwest said Friday it has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections following a recent surge in the number of new cases. (Japan Today)
May 30
The Air Self-Defense Force’s Blue Impulse acrobatics team on Friday performed a flyover over central Tokyo in a show of respect to doctors and medical staff who have been at the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
May 29
At the beginning of April, a young sumo wrestler known as Shobushi came down with a fever. His coaches tried calling a local public health center to get him a coronavirus test, but the phone lines were busy. (Japan Times)
May 29
NHK has learned that Tokyo Tower will reopen from Thursday, although most visitors will have to take the stairs instead of elevators to access the observation deck. (NHK)
May 29
Police investigators say the arsonist of a Kyoto Animation studio last year has told them that he had thought his attack had left only a couple of people dead. (NHK)
May 29
Nissan Motor has posted its first net loss in 11 years in the business year through March, amounting to more than 670 billion yen, or 6.2 billion dollars. (NHK)
May 28
Mobile phone data shows there was only a slight increase in the number of people around train stations and business streets in Tokyo and four other prefectures the day after the state of emergency was lifted. (NHK)
May 28
Japan's Diet has enacted legislation to tighten regulations on IT giants by requiring them to ensure transparency of their online business transactions with their business partners. (NHK)
May 28
Police in Kyoto, western Japan, have arrested a suspect in last year's deadly arson attack on Kyoto Animation's studio. They say the suspect has admitted that the allegations against him are true. (NHK)