National

Backlash over frozen fish in ice rink prompts rethink of Sapporo ice sculpture containing seafood

Staff Report

The recent harsh criticism against an ice skating rink in Fukuoka Prefecture that embedded thousands of frozen fish is prompting the organizer of a popular annual snow event in Hokkaido to rethink its exhibition of frozen marine products, the Asahi Shimbun said Monday.

The Susukino Tourist Association, the organizer of the Sapporo exhibit, will discuss Wednesday the fate of the display, which since 1984 has been a part of the Sapporo Snow Festival, the newspaper said. The exhibit boasts a huge statue of ice containing local specialties, including crab, salmon and Atka mackerel.

The possibility of the cancellation followed the flood of criticism last month against an amusement park in Kitakyushu that froze around 5,000 fish purchased from a market in the ice skating rink to give the impression of skating on the sea. An online rumor at the time claimed the fish had been frozen alive.

The backlash forced Space World to close the rink immediately. The theme park said Friday it will itself close next year.

The barrage of criticism raised concerns among members of the Sapporo display organizer that they may have to drop the frozen statue, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

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