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Tokyo gov't mulls building int'l convention center at Tsukiji market site

The Tsukiji market and the Toyosu market are seen in the foreground and the background, respectively, from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, in July 23, 2017. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The metropolitan government is mulling constructing large-scale facilities, including an international conference hall and an exhibition center, at the Tsukiji fish market here that closed last October, it has been learned.

The wholesale market in Chuo Ward was relocated to the Toyosu market in Koto Ward. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to rent the unused area in Tsukiji to the private sector on a long-term basis instead of selling the land. It will unveil a draft plan on the redevelopment of the former Tsukiji market site later this month and decide on a policy by the end of this fiscal year.

According to the metropolitan government, it will implement measures against soil contamination and conduct investigations on buried cultural property after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The new facilities will be developed in stages following the global event. The metropolitan government aims to attract first-class hotels and open restaurants in the area, which is only about a kilometer away from the Ginza district and near sites such as the Hamarikyu Gardens and the Sumida River -- which will be included in the draft.

The 23-hectare area is assigned to be used as a transportation hub for athletes during the Olympics and Paralympics. However, its use after the games was earlier left undecided. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike raised the possibility of turning the Tsukiji site into a theme park focusing on food in June 2017, but drew criticism from a company owning a tourist facility within the Toyosu market that such a project would make the company's business unprofitable. Since then, the metro government had mulled over ideas for the site's redevelopment.

(Japanese original by Kentaro Mori, City News Department)

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