An artist's impression of Tokyo's New National Stadium, designed by architect Kengo Kuma

An artist's impression of Tokyo's New National Stadium, designed by architect Kengo Kuma

Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the stadium set to host Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games.

The event took place at the site of the demolished national stadium that played host to the last Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

When he announced the choice of new stadiu, Mr Abe said, "I think this is a wonderful plan that meets criteria such as basic principles, construction period and cost."

The main contractor on the project, Taisei Corp, will build the US$ 1.3 billion stadium according to architect Kengo Kuma’s wooden lattice design.

The roof will be made from a wood and steel composite, using prefabricated panels to reduce costs and speed up the construction.

Due for completion by November 2019, the new stadium will sit some 20 m lower than the originally-selected design – which was scrapped when costs spiralled to around US$ 2.18 billion.

Tokyo has promised to rein in its budget, having faced criticism after its anticipated cost for staging the games rose to an estimated US$ 30 billion – almost three times that of London’s 2012 Games.

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