Tsukiji fish market's relocation date narrowed to later in 2018: Report

Tsukiji fish market's relocation date narrowed to later in 2018: Report

Tsukiji fish market
An auctioneer starts its new year auction of the frozen tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on Jan 5, 2017. (Photo: AFP/ Toshifumi Kitamura)

TOKYO: The iconic Tsukiji fish market will be relocated to the nearby Toyosu waterfront area between September and October 2018, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government on Monday (Oct 17). 

A specific date will be discussed with industry groups, reported Kyodo News, citing the local government.

The Tokyo government aims to reach on an agreement for the date during a council later this month, consisting of officials from the municipality and businesses, it added.

The market, where daily fish auctions attract large tourist crowds, was originally scheduled to be moved last November. But Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike had delayed the project due to pollution concerns

The new location - which was previously occupied by a gas production plant - seemed to have been built on hollow concrete chambers instead of a thick layer of clean soil. The latter was supposed to counter any contamination, reported Kyodo News. 

Toxins such as benzene had also been detected - up to 100 times than the government-set limit - in groundwater at the new site.

Additional safety measures to address soil contamination will be expected to be completed no later than next July, added the Tokyo government in the report.

After the relocation, the local government said it plans to demolish the market from October 2018. The vacant site will subsequently be used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as a logistics base, the report said.

Source: CNA/ad