Japan’s high-tech Olympics stalled by lack of low-tech bolts

Japan’s high-tech Olympics stalled by lack of low-tech bolts

Efforts to deliver the most high-tech Olympic Games in history in 2020 are in jeopardy due to a shortage of one of the most basic components used in Japan’s construction industry – the bolt. 

Tuesday marked 500 days until the opening ceremony for Tokyo 2020, which will feature more than 11,000 athletes competing in a record 339 events across 33 sports. For the first time, the Games will include karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. 

Preparations for the Games include a massive construction spree, for venues, infrastructure projects, the Olympic Village and numerous new hotels that are needed to accommodate the anticipated influx of spectators. 

The building boom has led to a shortage of components, however, with 83 percent of the 305 construction companies replying to a survey by the infrastructure ministry complaining that they cannot purchase enough bolts for their projects and that the shortage is causing delays in the construction work. 

Bolt suppliers are generally able to deliver bulk orders within six weeks, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, but surging demand means that companies are now having to wait six months for bolts to be delivered. 

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