Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike inspected the Tsukiji fish market Thursday for the first time since deciding to postpone its relocation from November last year.
Koike is expected to decide by summer at the earliest whether to permit the move, after experts examine the results of groundwater monitoring at the replacement site in Tokyo’s Toyosu waterfront area. The results are expected soon.
Koike visited the historic wholesale fish market at the request of Hiroyasu Ito, chairman of the Tsukiji Market Association, who wants a decision on the relocation to come quickly.
Koike, elected in late July, ordered the suspension of the move to the new site, a former gas production plant, after contaminants were discovered there. The decision came in August.
During her Thursday morning visit, Koike observed a tuna auction and other market activity. The governor said in a meeting with Ito and other industry officials that the market plays a big role in “supplying food to the world.” But she also said the facility is aging, and that “I have been able to confirm problems.”
The association demanded that Koike make a decision soon, but the governor said the government would do so only after confirming the safety of the new site.
“There won’t be any damage from rumors once its safety is proven through a scientific examination,” she said.
In mid-November, Koike said the relocation would not take place for at least one year due to pending safety checks.