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News Navigator: Why is Tokyo's Tsukiji Market being moved?

Tsukiji Market in Tokyo boasts the title of one of the largest fish markets in the world and has also come to be known as "Japan's kitchen." However, the traditional market is now having trouble keeping up with the times. In addition to crowding due to increased trade volume, the building and facilities themselves are also deteriorating.

Question: Wasn't the plan to move the market to Toyosu?

Answer: At first, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government considered rebuilding the facilities in Tsukiji. However, workers at the market expressed concerns about the influence of construction on their business operations. If trading continued at the market, the limit to how much renovation could be done at one time would increase costs, so the plan was abandoned.

Q: Why was Toyosu chosen as the site?

A: The site in Toyosu was the location of a former Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd refinery where toxic substances, such as benzene, were detected. However, a large area 1.7 times the size of the Tsukiji site at roughly 40 hectares was secured, and the location itself was close to the center of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government explained that they would raise the ground level by removing the contaminated soil and then laying a greater amount of fresh soil on top. Groundwater that could have been contaminated would also be pumped up and treated for toxins. However, with more problems recently coming to light with the safety of the soil and the design of the market, for food safety concerns, the public is hoping for more strict and thorough countermeasures from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. (Tokyo City News Department)

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