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Tokyo may trump Dubai for World's Tallest title


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TOKYO, Japan (UPI) -- Final approval is expected next week for a Tokyo skyscraper that could have a brief reign as the world`s tallest building.

The Sumida Tower`s schedule calls for completion in 2009, The Times of London reports. Another tower, the Burj Dubai, is likely to be finished around the same time and is designed to top the Sumida Tower by 80 meters -- or about 250 feet.

The Japanese building could have a longer period as the world`s tallest communications tower. The Sumida is expected to include transmitters and satellite dishes for six television stations and to be almost 200 feet taller than Toronto`s CN Tower.

The start of construction has been delayed by a dispute between two Tokyo districts eager to be the tower`s site. The final choice appears to be the Taito district, which already has a number of tourist attractions and thus may be more likely to lure visitors willing to pay a fee for a view over Tokyo and its surroundings.

The Tobu Railway is expected to put up most of the 50 billion yen ($431 million) construction cost.

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TOKYO, Japan (UPI) -- Final approval is expected next week for a Tokyo skyscraper that could have a brief reign as the world`s tallest building.

The Sumida Tower`s schedule calls for completion in 2009, The Times of London reports. Another tower, the Burj Dubai, is likely to be finished around the same time and is designed to top the Sumida Tower by 80 meters -- or about 250 feet.

The Japanese building could have a longer period as the world`s tallest communications tower. The Sumida is expected to include transmitters and satellite dishes for six television stations and to be almost 200 feet taller than Toronto`s CN Tower.

The start of construction has been delayed by a dispute between two Tokyo districts eager to be the tower`s site. The final choice appears to be the Taito district, which already has a number of tourist attractions and thus may be more likely to lure visitors willing to pay a fee for a view over Tokyo and its surroundings.

The Tobu Railway is expected to put up most of the 50 billion yen ($431 million) construction cost.

Is Tokyo really a safe place to have a tallest anything structure wise? The whole country's probably more likely to get an earthquake than California, and if anyone's seen the aftermaths of some of those Japanesse earthquakes, they aren't pretty at all. Tsunamis have been caused on Japan's shores because of the plate shifting. And Tokyo's always been regarded as the city where most would probably get hurt or killed when their big one would hit (because of their very dense streets.)

To anyone in architecture, what would they probably do structure-wise to make the Sumida Tower safe?

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So is it going to be an Observation Tower (like the CN Tower/Space Needle), or a really tall office/mixed use skyscraper with an Observation Deck? Call me crazy, but does $430 million seem a bit cheap for a skyscraper (being so big) in Tokyo?

And I know Earthquakes & Tsunamis are a threat, how big on the rictor (sp?) scale can it with hold?

I know Japan (Usually always Tokyo) has had previous "World's Tallest" proposals. Infact, they have had alot of these super giant "cities in the sky" visions, I am not sure if this one could be completed so soon, compared to the Burj Dubai. I remember when Norman Foster's Millenium Tower was proposed, my father's company was on the team and they were actually starting to drill in Tokyo Bay. But alas, never came threw.

I'm still skeptical about any supertall coming out of Tokyo, because the region is so prone to dangerous Earthquakes.

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Is Tokyo really a safe place to have a tallest anything structure wise? The whole country's probably more likely to get an earthquake than California, and if anyone's seen the aftermaths of some of those Japanesse earthquakes, they aren't pretty at all. Tsunamis have been caused on Japan's shores because of the plate shifting. And Tokyo's always been regarded as the city where most would probably get hurt or killed when their big one would hit (because of their very dense streets.)

To anyone in architecture, what would they probably do structure-wise to make the Sumida Tower safe?

Yeah, Tokyo gets earthquakes all the time. Strong ones, too. But they also have the tightest earthquake-focused building codes in Asia. The Japanese are all about safety, and they overbuild every piece of their society for it. The biggest killer in an earthquake is fire, so you can't walk more than 10 feet in any building in Japan or any street in Tokyo without seeing fire extinguishers. They're everywhere. Also, the locations of stairwells are marked on the OUTSIDE of the buildings so if they fall over, rescuers know where to look first. Every neighborhood has a series of designated areas where people are supposed to gather in an earthquake. Everything they do there is about safety. It's very endearing.

The area where this is building built (Taito/Azumabashi) is pretty far from the ocean, so tsunamis shouldn't be a worry. Tokyo has a sheltered bay anyway, and is naturally tsunami-resistant.

This tower will, however, be near the giant golden poo. Only the Japanese would have a building with a great big poo on top. (My photo)

AzumabashiHall-001.jpg

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