The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set the time for relocating the operations of the Tsukiji fish market to the nearby Toyosu waterfront area at September to October next year.
The specific date will be discussed with industry groups, the metropolitan government said Monday. The announcement came after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said in late August that the market, where daily fish auctions attract hordes of tourists, will be moved no earlier than next June.
The metropolitan government wants to reach an agreement on the date this month at a council consisting of government officials and business representatives. It expects that additional safety measures to address soil contamination at the new site will be completed no later than next July.
Following the relocation, the metropolitan government plans to start demolishing the renowned market in October and utilize the vacant site mainly as a logistics base for the 2020 Olympics.
The wholesale market was originally scheduled to be moved to the newly built facility in Toyosu last November. But Koike, who took office three month earlier, put the brakes on the project.
Concerns grew as key buildings at the new site, previously used as a gas production plant, were found to have been built on hollow concrete chambers instead of a thick layer of clean soil that was supposed to counter the contamination.
Toxic chemicals, including benzene up to 100 times the legal limit, were also detected in groundwater at the new site.