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Unity in diversity in Japan’s new National Olympic Stadium

Oct 05 2018

How can all of Japan’s 47 Olympic stadium Japan newprefectures be united in a New National Olympic Stadium? Through timber from PEFC-certified forests!

Japan’s new National Stadium will be completed in 2019 and will serve as the main venue for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Inspired by the wooden structures of traditional Japanese architecture, timber from SGEC/PEFC-certified forests will serve as a construction material for the stadium.

Unity in diversity

In line with one of the slogans of the Summer Olympics “Unity in Diversity”, certified timber from all 47 prefectures will be used. “This is a symbol of unifying the hearts of people nationwide,” said Kengo Kuma, the architect of the stadium.

In commemoration of the recovery from the Great East Japan (Tōhoku) earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, timber from the four most severely damaged prefectures will be used for the wooden louvers of the three eye-catching entrance gates.

Encouraging certification

The construction of the new stadium has also encouraged forest certification in several prefectures.

Thanks to the cooperation of the NICE Corporation, a retailer of building materials, with Forestry Agency of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, local governments and private companies, there are now SGEC/PEFC-certified forests in all Japan’s prefectures.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to use our strength of timber procurement to make a difference to the sustainable management of the country’s forests,” said Mr. Kiyoshi Higurashi, Director of the NICE Group.

Through the use of timber from SGEC/PEFC-certified forests from around Japan, the stadium not only unites the country, but encourages sustainable forest management in all regions.

“Using timber from all prefectures for the main Olympic stadium is a beautiful symbol of unity and we are delighted that its construction gave the impetus for PEFC certification all over Japan,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

By opting for sustainability, the newly built stadium does justice to a second slogan of the Olympics: “Connecting to Tomorrow”.

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