Japan National Stadium

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Japan National Stadium
New national stadium tokyo 1.jpg
Aerial view (2020)
Japan National Stadium
Location10-2, Kasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Public transit PrefSymbol-Tokyo.svg E25 Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō
JR logo (east).svg JB12 Sendagaya
OwnerJapan Sport Council
Capacity 68,000 (80,000 with temporary seating)
Field size107 × 71 m
Broke ground11 December 2016;4 years ago (2016-12-11)
BuiltDecember 2016 – 30 November 2019
Opened21 December 2019;17 months ago (2019-12-21)
Construction costUS$1.4 billion (¥157 billion)
Architect Kengo Kuma
Japan national football team (2020–present)
Japan national rugby union team (2020–present)
The rugby game Classic Meiji University versus Waseda University at 56th All-Japan University Rugby Championship - Final Japan National Stadium 200111b20.jpg
The rugby game Classic Meiji University versus Waseda University at 56th All-Japan University Rugby Championship - Final

The Japan National Stadium (国立競技場, Kokuritsu kyōgijō), [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] formerly known as New National Stadium, officially named National Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium used mostly for association football in Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The stadium will serve as the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the venue for track and field athletics events at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2021.


Demolition of the old National Stadium was completed in May 2015, allowing for the construction of the new stadium to begin on 11 December 2016.

The original plans for the new stadium were scrapped in July 2015 by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who announced a rebid after a public outcry because of increased building costs. As a result, the new design was not ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as originally intended. [6] A new design created by architect Kengo Kuma was chosen in December 2015 to replace the original design, which was completed on 30 November 2019. [7]


After Tokyo submitted their bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, there was talk of possibly renovating or reconstructing the National Olympic Stadium. The stadium would host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events. [8]

It was confirmed in February 2012 that the stadium would be demolished and reconstructed, and receive a £1 billion upgrade. In November 2012, renderings of the new national stadium were revealed, based on a design by architect Zaha Hadid. The stadium was demolished in 2015 and the new one was originally scheduled to be completed in March 2019. [9] The new stadium will be the venue for athletics, rugby, some football games, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics. [10]

Due to budget constraints, the Japanese government announced several changes to Hadid's design in May 2015, including cancelling plans to build a retractable roof and converting some permanent seating to temporary seating. [11] The site area was also reduced from 71 acres (290,000 m2) to 52 acres (210,000 m2). Several prominent Japanese architects, including Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki, criticized Hadid's design, with Ito comparing it to a turtle and Maki calling it a white elephant; others criticized the stadium's encroachment on the outer gardens of the Meiji Shrine. Arata Isozaki, on the other hand, commented that he was "shocked to see that the dynamism present in the original had gone" in the redesign of Hadid's original plan. [12]

The roof of the new stadium has been particularly problematic from an engineering perspective, as it requires the construction of two steel arches 370 metres (1,210 ft) long. Even after design changes, the stadium was estimated to cost over 300 billion yen, more than three times the cost of the London Olympic Stadium and more than five times the cost of the Beijing Olympic Stadium. [13]

The Japanese government reached an agreement in June 2015 with Taisei Corporation and Takenaka Corporation to complete the stadium for a total cost of around 250 billion yen. The new plan maintained the steel arch design while reducing the permanent capacity of the stadium to 65,000 in track mode with an additional 15,000 simple temporary seats available, allowing for an 80,000 capacity for football and the 2019 Rugby World Cup. [14] [15]

However, on 17 July 2015, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe announced that plans to build the new National Stadium would be scrapped and rebid upon amid public discontent over the stadium's building costs. As a result, Abe said that a replacement venue would have to be selected for the Rugby World Cup, as the new stadium would not be ready until the 2020 Olympics. [6]

As of 28 August 2015, the Japanese Government released new standards for the National Stadium's reconstruction. The fixed capacity would be 68,000 and be expandable to 80,000 through the use of temporary seats over the athletics track. The government also abandoned the retractable roof; instead a permanent roof will be constructed over the spectator seating only.

And also, a sports museum and sky walkway that were part of the scrapped design were eliminated, while VIP lounges and seats were reduced, along with reduced underground parking facilities. These reductions result in a site of 198,500 square meters, 13% less than originally planned. Air conditioning for the stadium was also abandoned upon request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and when asked about the abandonment Minister for the Olympics Toshiaki Endo stated that, "Air conditioners are installed in only two stadiums around the world, and they can only cool temperatures by 2 or 3°C". [16]

Concern over indoor temperatures has also been raised, since, for cost reduction, Tokyo's New National Stadium was built without an air conditioner, and the roof was constructed over the spectator seating only. [17]

The government slated a decision on contractors and a design by December 2015, with construction to begin at its latest in December 2016. [16] Designers partnered with contractors to submit a design alongside construction cost and timing estimates. It has been revealed that the athletics track will be a permanent feature not to be demolished for the additional 12,000 seats for any future World Cup bid. [18] As of 18 September 2015, two contractors submitted bids for the process: the Taisei Corporation working with architect Kengo Kuma, and a consortium of several major Japanese contractors including the Takenaka, Shimizu, and Obayashi corporations working with architect Toyo Ito. Former winning architect Zaha Hadid was unable to find a contractor willing to work with her design, and was therefore forced to abandon efforts to resubmit her revised design in the new competition. [19]

On 21 December 2015, the Japan Sport Council announced that Kuma and the Taisei Corporation had been selected to design and construct the National Olympic Stadium. [20] The stadium began construction in December 2016, and was set to conclude on 30 November 2019 when the stadium would be handed over to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for necessary games and ceremony preparations, including test events. The new design would hold 68,089 in athletics mode with the ability to construct temporary seating over the permanent track to create an increased capacity of 80,016. [21] Capacity during the Olympic Games will be 60,102 taking into account press and executive seating areas. This capacity is further lessened for the Paralympics to 57,750 to add more handicap accessible seating.

The stadium’s inaugural sporting event, the 2019 Emperor's Cup final, took place on 1 January 2020. [22] Vissel Kobe won their first ever trophy.


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  1. "Olympic Stadium". 2020 Summer Olympics official website.
  2. "国立競技場 一般の皆さまへ初めてのお披露目イベント開催のお知らせ 「国立競技場オープニングイベント ~HELLO, OUR STADIUM~」 日本を代表するアスリートやアーティストなどと一緒に競技場完成を祝う 1日限りのスペシャルイベント!" (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). Japan Sport Council. 2019-07-03. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
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  4. "Olympics: National Stadium launched ahead of 2020 Tokyo Games". Kyodo News. 2019-11-30.
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  7. "New National Stadium declared finished nearly eight months ahead of Tokyo Olympics". japantimes.co.jp. 2019-11-30.
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  9. Dazzling re-design for 2019 World Cup final venue
  10. "Venue Plan". Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
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  12. Qin, Amy (4 January 2015). "National Pride at a Steep Price: Olympic Stadium in Tokyo Is Dogged by Controversy". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
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  16. 1 2 "The Japan News". The Japan News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015.
  17. "【新国立競技場】冷房取りやめ、熱中症は大丈夫? 総工費1550億円 当初の観客数6万8000人". 産経ニュース (in Japanese). 28 August 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
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  19. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) (18 September 2015). "2 groups enter bids to build Tokyo Olympic Stadium". nhk.or.jp. NHK World News. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  20. http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/newstadium/tabid/497/Default.aspx
  21. http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/newstadium/tabid/474/Default.aspx
  22. "Emperor's Cup final to be first event at new National Stadium in 2020". The Japan Times. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
Preceded by
Estádio do Maracanã
Rio de Janeiro
Summer Olympics
Opening and closing ceremonies (Olympic Stadium)

Succeeded by
Stade de France
Preceded by
Estádio Olímpico João Havelange
Rio de Janeiro
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main venue

Succeeded by
Stade de France
Preceded by
Estádio Olímpico João Havelange
Rio de Janeiro
Paralympic Athletics competitions
Main venue

Succeeded by
Stade de France