Political power spot in Chiyoda to be rebuilt

Hirakawacho Sabo Kaikan Building 1

The building that once housed the head office of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is going to be demolished and rebuilt starting next year. In recent years the 58-year old building has become increasingly worn out.  The decision to rebuild was made after an inspection in 2014 found that the structure did not meet current earthquake-resistant standards.

A new building design will be selected in September and demolition will begin from April 2016. The new building is expected to be 7-storeys and should be completed sometime in 2018.

The Sabo Kaikan building was built in 1957 for the headquarters of the Japan Erosion and Flood Control Association. It is 5 storeys with 2 basement floors. When it was first completed, the LDP leased office space on the 2nd and 3rd floors before moving into their own building in 1966. The building was also where politician and former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka had both his private and faction offices. Tanaka was a central figure in the Lockheed scandal in the 1970s and it was said that some of the cash payments took place in these offices. Over the following years the building has been the location of numerous offices of politicians and prime ministers.

Hirakawacho Sabo Kaikan Building 2In the 1950s there were very few tall buildings in this area and it was possible to see the Imperial Palace, Diet building, Mt. Fuji and even Tokyo Bay from the offices.

Location

Sources:
The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 19, 2015.
Jiji, April 26, 2015.

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