A major flaw has been revealed in Kengo Kumar’s design for the Tokyo National Stadium – there is no space for the cauldron to house the Olympic flame.
And accommodating it might prove a major issue – as the facility is made largely of wood.
Organisers denied media reports that they “forgot” to include one of the iconic symbols of the Games in the design and insist they were merely keeping the location of the cauldron a surprise.
But officials have admitted, however, that there was a “lack of communication” between the various organisations behind the stadium and a review panel has been set up to decide where the Olympic flame should be placed.
It has set itself a deadline of April to identify a site for the cauldron, but may find it difficult to find a spot which meets the International Olympic Committee’s stipulation that the flame should be visible to spectators in the stadium and also from the outside – as it has to take into account the stringent Japanese Fire Service Act.
The team, headed by Olympics minister Toshiaki Endo and comprising members of the Games committee, the Japan Sports Agency and stadium operator, the Japan Sport Council.
“The basic design will be finalised by May and we’ll deal with it swiftly,” said Endo.