Japan finishes 'Sky Tree' - world's tallest communications tower

March 1, 2012

Construction of the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest communications tower and second-highest building, finished Wednesday, two months late because of the quake and tsunami that struck Japan last March.

Tourist bosses in the country hope the 634-metre (2080-foot) will be a big draw for foreign visitors, whose numbers have plummeted in the aftermath of the disaster and the nuclear crisis it sparked.

"The construction was originally scheduled to finish in December 2011 but was delayed due to a shortage of supplies after the disaster," said a spokeswoman for the operator, adding that the finished structure is sound.

"The building was officially handed over" from contractors to the operating firm, linked with Tobu Railway Co., on Wednesday afternoon, another spokeswoman said.

Construction of the tower, near the popular Asakusa traditional district on Tokyo's eastern side, began in July 2008.

The Tokyo Sky Tree tops the 600-metre Canton Tower in China's Guangzhou and the 553-metre CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

It is the world's second-tallest manmade structure, beaten only by the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Some 580,000 workers were engaged in the construction, which cost 65 billion yen ($806 million) for the tower alone, the spokeswoman said.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is expected to overshadow landmarks in the capital's upscale western parts, including the 333-metre Tokyo Tower, which was built in 1958 and became a byword in Japan for the country's rapid post-war growth.

It hosts two observation decks -- at 350 metres and 450 metres above ground -- as well as restaurants and office space and sits at a former freight shunting yard along the Sumida river.

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not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
580,000 workers? gotta be a typo
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
Earthquake prone country with cold snowy winters with rain and sleet. Unsuspecting pedestrians and buildings get hit with falling ice from the tower. Man, what a public safety nightmare.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2012
Earthquakes, yes. But don't be surprised if the Sky Tree could withstand a very powerful earthquake anyway. And Tokyo with cold snowy winters? Not a chance. Tokyo had the coldest winter in 6 years, yet only two days of actual snowfall, with the snow vanishing within a day.
not rated yet Mar 02, 2012
Considering that it will be much colder at the top of the tower than for the city in the winter, ice is a real possibility. On the other hand, very little of it would survive the fall.

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