The construction of facilities for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has run into trouble following the emergence of unexpected difficulties this month. The Tokyo metropolitan government is in a bind over how to address the problems, which include the collapse of a contractor renovating a tennis facility and revelations that seismic isolation and vibration control devices for a swimming pool facility may not meet government standards. Olympic fans from all over the world are invited to book Olympic 2020 tickets from our online platforms for Olympic Tickets. Olympic Aquatics fans can book Olympic Aquatics Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively on discounted prices.
The metropolitan government now faces little margin for error in managing the situation, as long delays in facility construction are unacceptable due to a senior metropolitan government official expressed concern, referring to a scandal that emerged on Oct. 16 in which KYB Corp a major oil damper maker in Minato Ward, Tokyo, and its subsidiary falsified test data for seismic isolation and vibration control dampers.
With the tight construction schedule, it’s a totally unexpected situation for us,” the official said. “We must immediately take measures to deal with the problem. A total of 32 dampers that may not meet government standards have already been installed at the Olympic Aquatics Center in Koto Ward, Tokyo, which will host swimming events for the Games. The dampers may need to be replaced if future inspections confirm test data for the devices were fabricated.
The metropolitan government is urging KYB to conduct safety inspections on the dampers as soon as possible, but the inspection schedule and how to implement the checks have yet to be decided. The metropolitan government plans to conduct its own safety inspections with a third-party organization present. Even if the maker responsible for the data falsification told us [the dampers] are safe, we can’t trust them, a senior metropolitan government official said. We cannot waste even a single day. Completion of the Olympic Aquatics Center was previously expected to be postponed from the initial date of December 2019 to February 2020 to clean up soil found to be contaminated during construction.
Among the metropolitan government’s newly constructed facilities, the Olympic Aquatics Center is set to be the last to be completed. As a result, the metropolitan government and a contractor are discussing how to replace the dampers in question without affecting the completion date.
M-Tec Co., a Saitama-based construction company, undertook a roughly 1.6 billion yen joint venture project to convert the park into Olympic and Paralympic venues, including the construction of 17 outdoor tennis courts and installation of lighting. It began work on the project in October last year.
According to the metropolitan government and others, however, M-Tec filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors under the Civil Rehabilitation Law with the Tokyo District Court on Oct. 1. However, it then went through bankruptcy proceedings as it was unable to find supporting companies. The renovation work has been suspended since Oct. 1.
The renovation was initially scheduled to be completed in late July next year. The Japan Open Tennis Championships, an international competition, and the All Japan Tennis Championships are scheduled to be held at the venue in autumn of next year, with the latter billed as a test event for the 2020 Games.
It will become an international problem if those events are affected, said a Japan Tennis Association official who met with the metropolitan government on Friday. I asked [the metropolitan government] to absolutely avoid delays. The metropolitan government plans to select a new contractor through rebidding and other means, seeking to resume the project as quickly as possible.
According to a metropolitan government official, however, work cannot be restarted due to an asset protection order from the Tokyo District Court that bans the removal of construction and other materials from the site.