Following the news in 2012 that Zaha Hadid Architects had won a competition to design the 80,000-seat Tokyo National Stadium as a centerpiece for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan’s Prime Minister has announced that the plans are to be scrapped. Citing spiralling costs as a key reason, Shinzo Abe has declared that the stadium, which was set to replace the existing Kasumigaoka National Stadium, would not be completed in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup nor the 2020 Olympic Games as originally planned. "I have been listening to the voices of the people for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review," Prime Minister Abe said. "We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero." Despite harsh criticism, mainly from a backlash led by Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki, it was reported last month that the Japanese government would move forward with the designs, saying any major modifications would lead to construction delays. However Guardian Cities has since reported that the government has come under growing criticism as the estimated cost for the new National Stadium rose to 252billion yen (around $2billion). The estimate in 2014 stood at 163billion yen.
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