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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:18, March 28, 2006
Race on to build world's tallest structure
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Plans are under way to build the world's tallest tower in Tokyo, about 600 metres high, in a derelict railway yard, press reports said at the weekend.

Japan's six broadcasting networks have selected a former freight shunting yard as the site for New Tokyo Tower which will become their radio and television transmitter tower by 2010, the reports said.

Tobu Railway Co., a private rail firm which owns the land in Sumida in eastern Tokyo, will shoulder part of the construction cost estimated at 50 billion yen (US$420 million), said Kyodo News agency and Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper.

Public broadcaster NHK and five commercial networks are also expected to front several hundred million yen each for the project, the reports said.

But the Japanese effort to create world's tallest structure looks set to be pipped at the post by the 800-metre-tall Burj Dubai, which will be completed in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2008. It will stand some 300 metres above the world's current tallest floored building, Taipei 101 in China's Taiwan Province.

New Tokyo Tower will dwarf the capital's nostalgic landmark, the 333-metre-tall Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Tower, an orange steel structure modelled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, has been a tourist attraction since it was built in the centre of the capital in 1958.

The broadcasters are currently using Tokyo Tower as a transmitter for both analogue and digital terrestrial broadcasting. The networks will formally announce the new site by the end of this month, Kyodo reported.

Japan plans to switch broadcasting waves completely from analogue to digital, capable of high quality audio visual transmission and two-way communications, by mid-2011.

New Tokyo Tower will top the world's current tallest self-supporting tower, the 553-metre CN Tower in Canada's Toronto.

KTHI-TV Tower in North Dakota stands 629 metres high and there are a few other steel antennas in the world but they are all supported by cables.

No officials from the six broadcasters were immediately available to confirm the reports.

They have spent a year choosing the site for the tower. Sumida was selected ahead of other locations as it is close to the broadcasters' headquarters and because of strong support from local businesses, the reports said.

Source: China Daily

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