Tokyo tower

Broadcast tower claims new record as world's tallest?

A Japanese communications tower has become the world’s tallest freestanding tower after passing the 600 metre mark.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is currently under construction in the city’s Sumida district and was said to have reached 601 metres (1,971 ft), surpassing the previous tallest tower, the 600 metre-high Canton tower in China.

The company managing the project, Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co, said the tower will stand 634m (2,080 ft) tall when it is completed later this year. It will replace the 332 metre-high Tokyo Tower, built in 1958.

Company spokesman Hirotake Takanashi said: “It's nice to be the world's No. 1, but it's just a passing mark. We must buckle down ourselves until we complete the tower.”

He said construction of the remaining 33 metres is the most critical phase of the project as it involves installation of a digital antenna.

Japan's six top broadcasters are building the Sky Tree, which is expected to bolster television and radio transmissions across the capital and beyond.

It will also house shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and is expected to become a new tourist destination in Tokyo.

Award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando and sculptor Kiichi Sumikawa designed the tower, which is built on a triangular foundation and has a bluish silver body that turns into a cylinder as it stretches upwards.

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