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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > Tokyo gov’t fails to take countermeasures against soil pollution at new fish market site
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2016 September 7 - 13 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo gov’t fails to take countermeasures against soil pollution at new fish market site

September 11 & 13, 2016
The group of Japanese Communist Party members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly recently revealed that the metropolitan government has failed to implement measures to deal with soil pollution at a new fish market site in the coastal district of Toyosu.

The JCP assemblypersons’ group conducted a field survey in Toyosu on September 7. According to the survey results, the metropolitan government neglected to carry out its plan to replace the contaminated soil at the new market site.

At this site, Tokyo Gas operated its factory until 1988. In 2008, metropolitan authorities announced that they detected various toxic substances there such as arsenic, cyanide, and benzene, a carcinogenic substance. The detected amount of benzene reached 43,000 times the nation’s environmental allowable amount.

Following the announcement, an expert panel set up by the Tokyo government proposed that the metropolitan authorities remove the top two meters of soil at the site and cover the surface with 4.5 meters of uncontaminated soil in advance of the construction of market facilities.

However, when the JCP assembly members inspected the site this month, under the ground on which the new market facilities are built is a vast open space about five meters high. That space should have been filled with clean soil.

On September 10, Governor Koike Yuriko held an emergency press conference in the metropolitan office building and admitted to the fact that the authorities have failed to take adequate countermeasures against the ground pollution at the Toyosu site. The governor also expressed her intent to have a task force address this issue.

At the end of August, Koike announced the postponement of the transfer of the Tsukiji market to Toyosu, which was originally scheduled for early November.

*****

The JCP metropolitan assemblypersons’ group made representations to the governor on September 12, demanding a thorough investigation into the metropolitan government’s negligence in dealing with the soil contamination at the Toyosu site.

On the same day, JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira said to reporters in the Diet building, “It is a serious problem that the metropolitan authorities have done such sloppy work while using 85.8 billion yen in taxpayers’ money. The relocation project itself should be called into question now.”

Past related article:
> Tokyo governor postpones relocation of Tsukiji fish market [September 1, 2016]
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