NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Citing a significant breach of the commitment to a sustainable 2020 Olympics, Japanese and international environmental groups called on April 21 for an urgent independent investigation of the use of tropical formwork plywood in the construction of the new National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
On April 3, investigators found that the plywood used to mold concrete for the stadium construction had markings from a notorious Malaysian logging company. Shin Yang is one of the ‘Big Six’ logging companies of Sarawak, Malaysia, where illegal logging is widespread and the destruction of forests is one of the most extreme cases in the world.
According to a 2015 report by Global Witness, Shin Yang has cut down over 100 acres of forest a day in Borneo, where half the plywood used in Japan’s building and furniture industries is produced.
A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee said it had been assured that the wood used for the Olympic stadium met certification standards.
Japan Sport Council, the government body in charge of building Olympic competition venues, said Shin Yang timber was being used.
The environmental groups are seeking an explanation and an open investigation to be conducted by a credible third party. The groups urged that until the issue is resolved, no more tropical plywood should be used on site.