Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Friday the scrapping of a plan for a controversial national stadium, the centerpiece of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, after sky-rocketing costs sparked public outrage.
Anger over the stadium, the estimated cost of which had climbed to $2.1 billion, almost twice its expected cost when Tokyo won the bid for the Summer Games in 2013, had become a liability for Abe as he pushes unpopular defense bills through parliament.
The new National Stadium was also meant to have been the centerpiece of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Support for Abe, who returned to office in 2012 pledging to bolster defenses and reboot the economy, has slipped to about 40 percent on voter doubts about the defense legislation. News about the stadium has fed into that discontent.
“We are scrapping our plans for the stadium, and starting from zero,” Abe told reporters after meeting Olympics Minister Toshiaki Endo and Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura. Read more