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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > Unilateral agreement on Toyosu relocation date provokes anger among Tsukiji workers
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2017 November 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Unilateral agreement on Toyosu relocation date provokes anger among Tsukiji workers

November 8 & 11, 2017
The Tokyo Metropolitan government on November 6 announced that the leader of the Tsukiji fish market wholesalers cooperative agreed on an October 2018 opening of a new market at the former gas plant site in the Toyosu district, provoking workers in the Tsukiji market to express their anger.

Nakazawa Makoto, the chair of the Tsukiji labor union (the Tokyo Central Market labor union), said, “If the Tokyo government tries to obtain consent to the relocation from all wholesalers, it will face difficulty in moving the market to Toyosu. Maybe because of this, the government negotiated only with the wholesalers cooperative leader regarding the relocation date.”

Nakazawa referred to the fact that benzene levels 120 times higher than the environmental limit was detected in the groundwater at the planned relocation site in August. He said, “The metropolitan government explained that it will fully remove toxic substances from the Toyosu site. Wholesalers, however, were not convinced with this explanation. Transferring the Tsukiji market without consent from market workers will inevitably end in chaos. The Tokyo government should cancel the relocation plan and instead carry out renovations at the current market site.”

A member of a women’s group of Tsukiji brokers, “Tsukiji Okamisan Kai”, Inoue Sumiko said, “Many business owners in the Tsukiji market who have been asked to move to Toyosu are voicing concerns whether food safety will be ensured at the polluted Toyosu market site. It is unacceptable for the Tokyo government and the wholesalers’ organization leader to ignore these voices of concern.”

Citing the Tokyo government’s plan to complete additional work to clean up the polluted Toyosu site by July next year, Inoue said, “What will the government do if it fails to produce any improvement?” She added, “The Tsukiji market is not just the place handling food products but also a place to meet people and make business contracts. I hope this Tsukiji community asset be considered.”

* * *

The “Tsukiji Okamisan Kai” consisting of women workers in the Tsukiji market on November 10 launched a signature-collection campaign calling on the leader of the Tsukiji wholesalers cooperative, who agreed on the relocation with the Tokyo government, to ask all wholesalers to express their opinions.

Yamaguchi Tai, who heads the women’s group, held a press conference at the Tsukiji fish market. She said, “We seek to collect signatures from over half of the 540 wholesalers, and 210 already signed their names to the petition. We want the Tokyo government to not yet set a date for closing the current market while contamination of the new market site remains.”

Past related articles:
> Citizens protest against Tokyo governor’s decision to relocate Tsukiji market to polluted site next year [August 29, 2017]
> Don’t destroy Tsukiji brand value with Toyosu relocation [June 12, 2017]
> Benzene 100 times higher than legal baseline detected again in groundwater in Toyosu [May 19, 2017]
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