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Japan's 2020 Olympic stadium on track for completion this year

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Japan's new National Stadium, which will serve as the main venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, is taking shape in Tokyo. The estimated construction cost is about US$1.3 billion.

Tokyo

JAPAN'S new National Stadium, which will serve as the main venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, is taking shape in Tokyo, with officials certain that construction will be completed this year.

It was back in July 2015 when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the stadium would be re-designed following a public outcry due to the soaring building costs for the original stadium plans.

Construction began in December 2016 and when ready, the facility will be able to accommodate 68,000 spectators in Athletics mode, and just over 80,000 in Football mode.

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The stadium will feature a partial roof that opens in the centre, with an overhang of about 60 metres circling the venue. The roof's frame will be a hybrid structure that blends steel and lumber from cedars and larches from all of Japan's 47 prefectures.

The stadium - with an estimated construction cost of about US$1.3 billion - is designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, although the original iterations were designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.

Last month, Tokyo 2020 officials said the Games' budget remains unchanged at US$12.6 billion after increases in some areas were offset by reductions in others. WP, REUTERS