70% of Tsukiji fish wholesalers oppose relocating to Toyosu: petition


More than 70 percent of seafood wholesalers at the aging Tsukiji market in Tokyo do not want to move to the capital’s newly built market in Toyosu due to strong worries about soil pollution, it was learned Tuesday.

A group of women working at the Tsukiji market, located in Chuo Ward, submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government the same day a petition calling for the planned relocation of Tsukiji’s functions to the Toyosu market in neighboring Koto Ward to be scrapped.

The new market has been built on the site of a former gas plant.

The petition contained signatures from 393 of the 553 seafood wholesalers at Tsukiji, the site of the biggest fish market in Japan.

“We don’t want to go to an unsafe place,” Tai Yamaguchi, the 74-year-old head of the group, told a news conference. Instead of the relocation, the Tsukiji market should be redeveloped, she stressed.

The petition, addressed to Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, says, “It is clear that measures against soil contamination at the Toyosu market are failing, and the metropolitan government has lost the trust of those who work at the market and consumers.”

Now that it has collected the signatures of fish wholesalers, the group, which formed last year, plans to expand the campaign to include Tsukiji fruit and vegetable wholesalers.

A candidate opposed to the Toyosu relocation was elected head of the Tsukiji fish market wholesalers cooperative in January.