National

Opening date for Toyosu market likely to be set this week

JIJI

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will likely announce the opening date for the Toyosu wholesale food market this week as it prepares to replace the famed Tsukiji market despite lingering pollution concerns.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Friday that the date could be set this week. There is widespread speculation that the opening will take place on Oct. 11. The plan must be formally decided by a council comprising the metropolitan government and industry groups.

Koike also said the metro government will switch to a no-bid contract for the last remaining soil cleanup project at toxic Toyosu following a series of unsuccessful bids, hoping to conclude all related contracts by the end of the year.

Koike said progress on Tsukiji’s relocation will “start on a full scale at last” now that the various obstacles are being dealt with.

Tokyo and industry groups at Tsukiji initially agreed to open the Toyosu market in the middle of October 2018. But the groups and Koto Ward complained about Tokyo’s lack of transparency, and the meeting for setting the opening date was postponed. The groups later asked for the schedule to be set by the end of the year.

With two more successful tenders for additional soil cleanup on Friday, the government has selected bidders for eight of nine planned contracts.

The prices for the two contracts were released in advance, and the successful bids stood at 94.4 percent and 98.8 percent of the target values.

The government aims to complete the cleanup work by the end of July.