National

Tokyo opens city’s first swimming beach since 1960s

Kyodo

A bathing beach was opened in Tokyo on Saturday for the first time since all beaches in the capital were closed for swimming in the 1960s due to pollution.

The beach is part of Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa Ward, at the top of Tokyo Bay between the Arakawa River and Tokyo Disneyland.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will open it for swimming through the end of August and will monitor water quality before deciding whether to open it permanently during the swimming season.

A nonprofit organization in Tokyo has held swimming events since 2013 with the Tokyo government’s permission. Some 15,000 people participated in last year’s events, which were held for 20 days.

According to the group, all bathing beaches in Tokyo disappeared in the 1960s.

Mami Tsukuda, 40, who visited the beach with her 4-year-old daughter, said: “It is surprising to be able to swim in central Tokyo. I would like to see it become cleaner as we try harder to take care of the environment.”