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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 23 - 29  > Citizens protest against Tokyo governor’s decision to relocate Tsukiji market to polluted site next year
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2017 August 23 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Citizens protest against Tokyo governor’s decision to relocate Tsukiji market to polluted site next year

August 29, 2017
In defiance of the public demand for the cancellation, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko on August 28 at an extraordinary session of the metropolitan assembly announced that the Tsukiji fish market will be moved to the soil-polluted former gas plant site in Toyosu in June 2018.

The extraordinary meeting was called to discuss a basic policy and a supplementary budget regarding the market relocation and is scheduled to end on September 5. Governor Koike explained the basic policy to the assembly for the first time since she published it two months ago.

Koike stressed that she gives top priority to an early transfer of the market to Toyosu. The governor withdrew her promise to Tokyoites and Tsukiji market workers to bring pollution of soil and groundwater at the Toyosu site down below the environmental standard level. She, however, said that food safety at the new market site will be ensured through the steady implementation of additional work to control soil pollution and the strengthening of capabilities of the groundwater management system. She, then, expressed her intent to relocate the world-famous fish market to the former gas factory site in June 2018 after the additional work will be completed.

Regarding the Tsukiji market, at a time when the governor released the basic plan, she proclaimed that some of the market functions will be maintained at the current site. At the assembly meeting on August 28, Koike said that after the relocation, the current market site will be redeveloped mainly by the private sector which seeks to make full use of the economic potential of the Tsukiji area.

Asked by reporters about the governor’s explanation, the Secretary General of the Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Members’ group, Oyama Tomoko, pointed out that the Toyosu site where a high level of chemicals, including benzene at 43,000 times the environmentally allowable level, were detected is unfit for a wholesale market which handles perishable foodstuffs. Oyama said, “The governor fails to clarify why she made a decision to move forward with the relocation even though she recognized the impossibility of cleaning up the contaminated Toyosu site.” Oyama expressed her determination to grill the governor concerning her decision to relocate in the extraordinary session of the assembly.

On this day, members of a civil group opposing the Toyosu relocation gathered near the Tokyo assembly building to hold a street action, and called on passersby to support their petition demanding the continued use of the current Tsukiji market.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo governor’s local party refuses to set up special committee on Tsukiji market relocation [ August 9, 2017]
> Tokyo governor decides to relocate fresh market to contaminated Toyosu site [ June 21, 2017]
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