TOKYO: Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market, the world’s biggest, will be moved to a new location, the city’s top official said on Tuesday, after months of delays over concerns about toxic contamination at the new site.
The present location, a popular tourist attraction that hosts an early-morning tuna auction, is earmarked for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“After that, we will turn it into a new market with a food theme park,” Koike told reporters, adding that redevelopment would happen within five years.
“I think it’s wisest to use both Toyosu and Tsukiji,” she said, referring to the new location. The government initially planned to sell all or part of the current site near the upscale Ginza shopping district.
Koike, a former TV anchorwoman elected last year as Tokyo’s first female governor, did not say when the main market would move to Toyosu, a former gas plant.
“We’ll need to discuss detailed schedules with the people involved,” she said.
Last week, the top-selling Yomiuri newspaper reported that the governor was mulling the possibility of opening the new site in May next year.
Plans to uproot the more than 80-year-old market have been in the works for years, with advocates citing the need for upgraded technology as they pointed to Tsukiji’s antiquated refrigeration systems.
But those plans were put on ice after Koike postponed the move originally set for late 2016. The relocation plan was marred by problems.