Tokyo Governor Kills ‘World City’ Project

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<i> Reuters</i>

The Tokyo governor elected in April in a protest vote announced Wednesday that he was killing the political old guard’s cherished “World City” project.

Gov. Yukio Aoshima said the $2.35-billion exhibition of urban design and technology would squander taxpayer money.

The expo, slated to be held for 10 months next year mainly to promote a $96.3-billion Tokyo Bay waterfront development scheme, was approved in 1990 and construction was well under way.


“The expo scheme was a legacy of the ‘bubble economy’ era,” Aoshima said, referring to Japan’s economic boom during the 1980s.

The Tokyo government had spent $249 million on the expo and set aside another $700 million for this fiscal year, officials said.

Expo backers estimate that Tokyo will still have to pay $67.4 million for refunds on advanced ticket sales and sponsors’ expenses. Opponents say paying compensation will be cheaper than pouring more money into a scheme they view as plagued by delays, cost overruns, bid-rigging and influence-peddling scandals.