Koike to go ahead with Tsukiji’s move to Toyosu if pollution steps actually taken: sources

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has decided to move the famous Tsukiji fish market to the Toyosu waterfront district in Koto Ward after additional safety measures are taken to ease pollution concerns, sources familiar with the matter said.

Koike is expected to announce the decision early this week, the sources said Saturday.

Koike met with people working at the Tsukiji wholesale fish and vegetable market Saturday to get their opinions on the stalled relocation project.

Koike apologized for the delay in addressing the pollution revelations at Toyosu that surfaced just after she took office.

The meeting came after she received a report Tuesday from a metropolitan government-appointed task force that made proposals centering on making use of both sites.

“We need the wisdom of all of you to decide how to save, sustain and further develop the Tsukiji market, which is Tokyo’s treasure,” she said at the start of the gathering.

The metro government had planned to sell off the Tsukiji site in Chuo Ward to repay the debt issued to finance construction of the new site at Toyosu. The task force’s proposals included converting the aging Tsukiji market, famous for its daily fish auctions, into a different sort of commercial facility.

Koike, who said upon receiving the proposals that she wants to make the most of Tsukiji’s name recognition, will likely make a decision before campaigning starts Friday for the July 2 metropolitan assembly election. Tsukiji’s relocation is expected to be one of the major issues.

But the decision will remain controversial because the merchants are sharply at odds over whether to relocate. At Saturday’s meeting, which was attended by about 100 Tsukiji workers, some people voiced opposition to the move because of safety concerns. Others maintained that relocation shouldn’t be postponed any longer because Tsukiji’s facilities are getting too old to use.

After becoming Tokyo’s first female governor last August, Koike put the…

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