World's tallest tower is now in Tokyo

World's tallest tower: The Skytree tower opened Tuesday in Tokyo. At 2,080-feet, the Skytree now surpasses the Canton Tower in China.

REUTERS/Kyodo
A view of Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower at 634 metres (2080 feet), in Tokyo. The tower opened to the public on Tuesday, with hundreds of people entering the tower and its large shopping mall.

he world's tallest tower and Japan's biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Skytree, opened to the public on Tuesday.

Nearly 8,000 visitors were expected to take high-speed elevators up to the observation decks of the 634-meter (2,080-foot) tower to mark its opening. Some reportedly waited in line more than a week to get the coveted tickets for a panoramic view, though Tuesday ended up being cloudy in Tokyo.

Skytree is recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest tower, beating out the Canton Tower in China, which is 600 meters (1,968 1/2 feet).

The world's tallest structure is Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 meters (2,717 feet). That's in a different category because it's a skyscraper, not a tower.

The Skytree will serve as a broadcast tower for television and radio, along with being a tourist attraction. It replaces the 333-meter-tall (1,092 1/2-foot-tall) Tokyo Tower — a symbol of Japan's capital since 1958 — as the broadcast hub.

Is this tower something to celebrate? As The Christian Science Monitor noted upon the completion of the Burj Khalifa, sometimes such projects can be indicators of economic decline.

The skyscraper index works because developers tend to make ambitious gambles with huge new towers at the point of the business cycle when interest-rate and price signals can get distorted, wrote Mark Thornton, a senior fellow at the Mises Institute, in a 2005 research paper (.pdf). The institute is a research and education center espousing Austrian School economics and based in Auburn, Ala.

In 2014, China is expected to complete the Shanghai Tower, which at 2,073 feet will be the country's tallest building, and the world's tallest after the Burj Dubai.

IN PICTURES: Tallest buildings on Earth

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.