National

Rule violations, bad habits accompany wholesalers on move from Tsukiji to Toyosu

JIJI

Rule violations such as smoking outside designated areas, unauthorized use of shared space and other transgressions that were a problem at the now-defunct Tsukiji wholesale market have been reported at its successor site, the new Toyosu market, according to sources.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which operates the replacement market that opened earlier this month in Koto Ward, has plans to intensify surveillance and crack down on violations in cooperation with industry groups so as to remedy the situation, the sources said.

Because market operations at Toyosu — in contrast to the open-air-type facility at Tsukiji — take place inside closed buildings, hygiene control standards are stricter because cigarette smoke, ash and butts can contaminate food more easily.

Although the Toyosu market, which has been enjoying a good turnout of shoppers and tourists since it opened, has many designated smoking areas, smoking on the street—with its resulting cigarette butt litter — still remains rampant.

“I’m too busy to walk to a smoking area that is far away,” a worker of an intermediate wholesaler said in an apologetic tone.

The Tokyo government has vowed to more vigorously ensure compliance with such rules that would have gone unpunished at the Tsukiji in Chuo Ward.

“We’re ready to impose administrative punishments such as suspension of entry into the market” on malicious violators, a government official said.

Another issue is the unauthorized stacking of boxes by wholesalers in aisles that are meant to remain open enough for four turret trucks to pass through at a time. The issue was also a problem at Tsukiji. But at Toyosu, according to the sources, there are sections where only one truck can traverse because of clutter.

“The well-thought design of the facility has been fouled up,” another official with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said. “It’s pointless for traders to spoil the usability of their own market.”

Because the Toyosu market is still a bit chaotic due to the recent move from Tsukiji, the Tokyo government plans to tolerate to some extent violations such as the placement of boxes in the aisles, with the exception of where they create blind spots for drivers.

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