Tokyo’s Tsukiji, dubbed “the fish market at the center of the world” for its influence on the global seafood trade, is being forced to move to a site laced with benzene and cancer-causing chemicals.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is pushing ahead with plans to relocate the world’s largest fish market to an artificial island in Tokyo Bay in 2014. The move, a pet project of Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, will be financed by selling the existing site, two blocks from Japan’s most expensive land in the Ginza shopping district and worth at least ¥188 billion.

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