Bidding for Japan's Olympic facilities faces difficulties

Bidding for Japan's Olympic facilities faces difficulties

TOKYO - Bidding for the construction of arenas for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chofu, Tokyo, initially failed to attract contractors due to the low estimated price set by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

The metropolitan government plans to build a set of new facilities, tentatively named the "Musashi-no-mori General Sports Center," to consist of two arenas that can accommodate up to 11,000 and 374 spectators, respectively. They will be built on a 3.35-hectare plot of land west of Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu, which was used as the main venue for this year's National Athletics Meet and the National Sports Festival for Disabled.

Rising prices for construction materials and other factors affected construction prospects for the facilities, which will be a venue for the modern pentathlon in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The metropolitan government held the first bidding for the construction of the arenas in July, but seven consortiums that were initially interested in tendering bids declined to do so on the grounds that the price ceiling was too low.

Subsequently, the metropolitan government raised the prices for the construction of the main arena from about ¥9.69 billion (S$122 million) to about ¥10.51 billion and the price for the construction of a sub arena from about ¥7.09 billion to about ¥7.3 billion. In the rebidding held Friday, consortiums, including major general contractors, won bids for the main arena at about ¥10.48 billion and for the sub arena at about ¥7.19 billion.

Besides the Chofu facilities, the Tokyo metropolitan government must also build 10 other facilities for the 2020 Games.

Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose said he will cut costs to construct those facilities. "We can cut labour costs by utilizing retired engineers," he said.

However, a senior official of the Tokyo metropolitan government said: "Labor shortages and rising construction material prices are persistent. Holding down construction costs might not be so easy."

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