Tokyo's new governor, Yuriko Koike, has decided to postpone the relocation of Tsukiji Fish Market to Toyosu to allow time for final groundwater test results to be released early next year.
The world renowned fish market was originally scheduled to close on November 2, 2016 – relocating to Toyosu for a November 7th opening – but ongoing concerns over soil contamination have served to now postpone any potential move back until next February at the earliest.
Koike, who took over the governor office since August 1, pledged that she would review the relocation project during her campaign. With the postponement, it is clear Koike is better representing the interests of Tsukiji's own fish merchants, many of whom have expressed concern over the new facilities, the disruption of the market's peak season and unresolved issues over soil contamination at the new site.
Tsukiji Fish Market was established in 1935 and in 2001, the government announced plans to relocate this 81 year old market to the Toyosu area, citing that the aging facilities were becoming dangerous.
The new announcement is of course great news for tourists still hoping to make a visit to the historical, original site, well known for its famous morning tuna auctions but also widely seen as a cultural symbol of Tokyo.
However, one possible consequence is possible delays to the commencement of a new highway construction project – Kanko Nigosen (Loop no. 2) – seen as a crucial link to the Tokyo Bay Zone needed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.