National

Long crack found near building at new Tokyo fish market; no delay to October opening officials say

Kyodo

A 10-meter-long crack between a building and paved ground was found at the new fish and food market that will open next month on the Toyosu waterfront, with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government saying Tuesday it does not expect repair work to cause a delay in its opening.

The 5 centimeter crack at the facility replacing the famed Tsukiji market resulted from ground settlement around a building that will house intermediate seafood wholesalers, according to the city government.

At the Toyosu market location, which was previously the site of a gas production plant, clean soil and clay that was placed under buildings as part of anti-contamination measures is gradually sinking due to water loss.

Such ground settlement is likely to take place “within the next two years,” city officials said, noting that similar phenomena has not be seen in other areas of the facility.

The officials also tried to give assurances that the layers of soil and clay are functioning properly and no hazardous materials are filtering through to the surface.

The metropolitan government said it will repair the cracks before the market opens Oct. 11 and the facility will be checked regularly for similar issues.

The crack was found by an intermediate seafood wholesaler Saturday and reported to the metropolitan government. Officials said the crack had been discovered in the fall of last year, but industry groups had not been notified because such ground sinking was expected from the beginning and the government planned to eventually repair the fissure.

“It is normal that such mounds experience ground sinking and we didn’t feel there was a need to give an explanation because there was no safety issues,” an official said. “But we did lack consideration.”