Japanese writer Haruki Murakami pleads for keeping Tokyo park and baseball stadium

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Renowned author of “Kafka on the Shore”, “Norwegian Wood”,”1Q84″ and many other books, Haruki Murakami has expressed strong opposition to the proposed redevelopment of the cherished Jingu Gaien Park district in Tokyo. The author argues these two historical buildings have been an inspiration for his writings all these years.

This redevelopment plan, which received approval from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike earlier this year, has sparked growing controversy. The project aims to introduce towering skyscrapers and new stadiums into the heart of the historically significant green district.

The plan entails the demolition of the nearly century-old baseball stadium that served as an inspiration for Murakami’s career as a novelist, along with a neighboring rugby stadium that was utilized for soccer matches during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Followers of baseball and rugby history are opposed to it, as well as conservationists and civil groups who say the project has advanced without transparency.

Critics of the redevelopment include baseball and rugby enthusiasts, environmentalists, and community organizations, who argue that the project lacks transparency, sufficient environmental assessment, and clear communication with residents. The proposed development would result in the removal of hundreds of trees from an area that has served as a park district for centuries. Ultimately, the new stadiums would be surrounded by towering office buildings reaching almost 200 meters in height, forming a commercial complex.