Work at Tokyo’s Olympic stadium intense, on track

Work at Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium is on schedule with just over two years until the Games get underway in the Japanese capital.

Olympic Minister Shunichi Suzuki said that the stadium is on track to be ready to host the 2020 edition of the Games, praising the workflow efficiency during a visit to the new National Stadium on Tuesday.

There are currently 22 cranes on site as the spectator stands are being installed, which has followed 10 months of underground foundation work. The initial stadium plan was scrapped due to increasing costs and unpopular design, leaving work more than a year behind schedule.

While Suzuki reminded workers that all technology must be mobilised to finish the stadium by the November 2019 deadline, he cautioned that workers should not stockpile overtime.

“Working conditions must meet legal standards,” he said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Suzuki cited the suicide of a stadium worker linked to overwork and highlighted that the Japan Sports Council, the government-funded stadium operator and construction company Taisei need to keep an eye on workers doing too much. Since the incident, the operator has reportedly taken measures to improve the working environment.

In an effort to become more efficient, Taisei and its subcontractors are using precast and semi-assembled components from factories for quick installation.

Currently, the site has a total of 1,000 workers each day, according to an on-site planning and management official at JSC. However, more than 3,000 employees will be needed per day when the time comes to start installing the roof, as well as working on the exterior and interior.

Tokyo’s new National Stadium will be turned into a football and rugby venue following the event.