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Tsukiji market relocation to Toyosu delayed to autumn 2018

The relocation of the Tsukiji wholesale market in Tokyo's Chuo Ward to the Toyosu district of Koto Ward will likely be delayed from spring to autumn next year, metropolitan government officials said.

    The new relocation schedule was disclosed at a July 21 meeting among Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and directors of metro government bureaus concerned with the issue.

    The fresh delay is apparently because it will take about six months to deal with soil contamination at the Toyosu site. The market was to be relocated sometime between the end of this year and spring next year under a roadmap released in November 2016.

    According to the metro government, additional work will be done to protect the market from toxic substances in soil at the Toyosu site after reviewing changes in the environmental assessment this summer. The metro government will then go through a procedure for gaining approval from the farm minister, paving the way for the relocation sometime between spring and autumn 2018. During that period, the metro government will negotiate with relevant organizations over the relocation's timing.

    In the meantime, metro Tokyo will place priority on dismantling the part of Tsukiji market where an expressway will be built to make sure that necessary road construction and improvement work will be completed by March 2020, prior to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics later that year.

    Gov. Koike announced on June 20 that the metro government will redevelop the Tsukiji site after the market moves to Toyosu, and instructed heads of concerned bureaus to consider specific plans to that end.

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