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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 1 - 7  > Ex-Tokyo gov. Ishihara eager to find scapegoats for Toyosu scandal in run-up to assembly hearing
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2017 March 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Ex-Tokyo gov. Ishihara eager to find scapegoats for Toyosu scandal in run-up to assembly hearing

March 4, 2017
Former Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro, who is under fire for his decision to relocate the Tsukiji market to the heavily polluted Toyosu district, on March 3 made an ugly defense before the press at the Japan National Press Club.

At the press conference, Ishihara admitted that he pushed forward with the relocation project during his term of office between 1999 and 2012. He, however, in order to deny his involvement in the decision-making process, that when he assumed the office of governor, the Tsukiji relocation had already been arranged. Ishihara went onto say, “I just followed the predetermined arrangement.”

In 2011, the Tokyo government concluded a contract with Tokyo Gas Co., on the purchase of a former gas plant site for the construction of a new market. In the contract, the metropolitan government promised to reduce the gas company’s share of the cost for cleaning up contaminated land and exempt the company from bearing any additional burden associated with a possible increase in the clean-up cost for the decontamination work.

Asked about this issue, Ishihara said, “I didn’t know that fact until I received questionnaires from the current governor,” and added that at that time, he entrusted vice governor Hamauzu Takeo and metropolitan government staff with the land purchase negotiations.

Even after the decontamination work, high levels of chemical substances were detected at the planned relocation site. In response to a question about what Governor Koike should do, the bigoted ex-governor said, “As experts okayed the site, the operation of a new market should be launched without delay.”

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly recently ordered Ishihara to testify under oath as a witness before its special investigation commission slated for March 20.

Commenting on Ishihara’s statement at the press conference, the secretary general of the Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Members’ Group, Oyama Tomoko, said, “I was disgusted with his irresponsible behavior.” She said, “The JCP has insisted on opposing the Tsukiji relocation to Toyosu. In a hearing session of the commission, we will severely grill Ishihara on this issue, including the purchase of the former Tokyo gas site.”

Past related article:
> Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to summon ex-Governor Ishihara over Toyosu scandal [February 23 & 28, 2017]
> JCP-proposed special investigation commission on Toyosu issue to be convened [February 21, 2017]
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