The Japan Sports Council (JSC) is reportedly asking for donations in order to install wooden seating at the new National Stadium, which could bring about a substantial raise in the cost of the construction of the venue.
According to the Japan Times, the plan to use wooden seats may see the price rise from its current estimate of ¥2 billion (£12 million/$17.5 million/€15.5 million), based on installing plastic seats, to as much as ¥6 billion (£36 million/$52 million/€46 million).
The gap in cost could be plugged by donations and those who contribute could have their names inscribed on to the back of the seats inside the Stadium being built for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It has been claimed, however, that if the amount of donations is more than the figure needed for the seating, the money could be spent on improving other facilities for the Games in five years’ time.
The proposal from the JSC, who recently signed a ¥2.5 billion (£14.5 million/$21 million/€19 million) contract with the constructors of the Stadium as part of an agreement with the joint venture building the stadium, which includes architect Kengo Kuma, construction giant Taisei Corporation and Azusa Corporation, has been praised by Olympics Minister Toshiaki Endo.
He has recently become embroiled in a cash-for-support scandal in the country after he admitted accepting money and gift vouchers from the founder of a company which provides English assistant language teachers to schools in Japan’s capital city.
The Stadium, which will cost a total ¥149 billion (£806 million/$1.2 billion/€1.1 billion) to build, has been a contentious issue for Tokyo 2020.
The saga started when the initial design by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid was axed due to rising costs.
A cheaper design by Kuma has been selected as the replacement, but he has now been placed at the centre of a plagiarism row, with Hadid claiming that his effort has "significant similarities" with hers, which the architect has denied.
The JSC hope construction work on the venue, which was initially due to be completed in time to be used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the first-ever edition of the tournament to take place on Asian soil, will begin by the end of this year.
Delays caused by the scrapping of the original design have made this impossible, though architect Kuma recently suggested the building of the venue could be sped up with a view to getting it ready for the competition.
It will now be built by November 2019, two months earlier than expected, according to Japanese organisers.