Japan Sports Minister Steps Down After Failed Olympic Stadium Plans

September 25, 2015

Japan’s sports minister Hakubun Shimomura has announed his resignation over the cancelled plans for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium.

Shimomura has confirmed that Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has however, asked him to stay on until a cabinet reshuffle that is planned for next month.

UK-based architect Zaha Hadid’s initial plans for the Olympic Stadium were scrapped in July after costs for the project, which was also due to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, rose to $2 billion (£1.3bn).

“I have caused great worry and trouble to many of the people over the national stadium problem,” Shimomura said at a post-cabinet meeting news conference on Friday.

“It is true that this has caused much concern and inconvenience.”

Shimomura revealed that he first learnt of the inflation of the stadium costs in April and is willing to repay the money he received during that six month period.

New stadium plans are expected to be revealed by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee in November and a new stadium is now scheduled to be completed by March 2020, a year later than originally planned.

This casts more controversy on the Organising Committee after they also recently scrapped the design for the emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games over accusations of plagiarism.

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