British architect wins design contest for Japan's new national stadium
News On Japan via guardian.co.uk -- Nov 17
Zaha Hadid, best known in the UK for the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, the architectural centrepiece of the summer games, has taken first place in a competition to design the new Tokyo National Stadium.
The visually striking submission will replace the current, ageing structure, built in 1958 and which served as the main venue for the 1964 Summer Olympics.
The 54-year old stadium, designed by Mitsuo Katayama and described by the jury chair Tadao Ando as "announcing the birth of a modern Japanese architecture", will make way for a new venue which Ando said would see a modern Japan "reborn".
The stadium is scheduled for completion in 2018, and will play host to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as forming the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics should Tokyo's bid prove successful.
The choice of Hadid may prove to be a controversial one, however, as the single major sports venue her firm have produced was subject to significant budget overruns. The Aquatics Centre was anticipated to cost £72m, but the final figure spiralled to £270m, a figure which may have been even higher had earlier designs for the venue's temporary "wings" been followed.
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested four individuals in Ebina, in connection with a robbery case in which a pregnant woman on her way home was struck in the face and robbed of approximately 100,000 yen in cash. (Japan Today )
Yoko Ono says her own bitter experience in Japan during World War II inspired her to support WhyHunger's "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign to fight childhood hunger around the world. (abcnews.go.com )
Japanese police arrested former sumo ozeki Kotomitsuki on Wednesday on suspicion of violating the immigration law by employing foreigners illegally at a barbecue restaurant he runs in Nagoya, central Japan. (Jiji Press )