World’s largest fish market reopens at new site in Tokyo

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More than 80 percent of Tsukiji fish traders oppose the move the new Toyosu location. (Reuters)
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A fishmonger works at a wholesalers’ area on the opening day of the new Toyosu fish market on Thursday, October 11. (Reuters)
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Wholesalers take part in an auction at a greengrocery area on the opening day of the new Toyosu market. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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World’s largest fish market reopens at new site in Tokyo

  • More than 80 percent of Tsukiji fish traders opposed the move to Toyosu
  • The old site will provide temporary parking for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before becoming a tourist center

TOKYO: The world’s largest fish market resumed operations at a new location in Tokyo on Thursday, after final auctions last week at the previous facility in Tsukiji, one of the Japanese capital’s top tourist attractions.
The long-delayed opening of the gleaming new $5-billion Toyosu market on reclaimed land was marked by a minor truck fire and an early morning traffic jam.
As the new market’s first auction kicked off at 5:30am, its halls filled with the sound of bells and the shouts of traders, who also used hand signals in the scramble to get the day’s best produce.
“It might take some time to get used to,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at the site. “Together, we would like to develop this as the core market of Tokyo, and Japan, and make the Toyosu brand better day by day.”
The 83-year-old Tsukiji market had attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year to its warren of stalls laden with exotic species of fish and fresh sushi in a tourism boom key to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic plan.
But it had become dilapidated and unsanitary, city officials have said in planning the move to Toyosu, further away from central Tokyo, a relocation delayed many times since it was conceived 17 years ago.
Kimio Amano, a 45-year-old blue tuna seller, said he was concerned about the location.
“There are some customers who said they are not coming any longer because it is too far,” said Amano. “Let’s see what happens.”
More than 80 percent of Tsukiji fish traders oppose the move, a survey by a group fighting the relocation showed.
Demolition work is due to start on Thursday at Tsukiji, but a group of fishmongers protesting the move to Toyosu forced their way back in.
In 2016, toxic substances were found in soil and groundwater at Toyosu, once home to a gas plant, prompting Tokyo to spend an extra ¥3.8 billion ($34 million) to dig hundreds of wells to pump out groundwater.
In July, Koike declared the site safe after experts signed off on additional clean-up measures, but some traders remain skeptical.
The old site will provide temporary parking for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before becoming a tourist center.


Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

Updated 21 October 2018
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Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

  • The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31

SYDNEY: Meghan, the pregnant wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is scaling back her engagements during the royal couple’s 16-day Pacific tour, Kensington Palace said Sunday, ahead of their visit to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The royal couple have had a gruelling schedule since arriving in Australia on Monday, visiting Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo, as well as opening the Olympic-style Invictus Games for disabled and wounded soldiers.
“After a busy program, The Duke and Duchess have decided to cut back The Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week and a half of the tour,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
The opening ceremony for the Games at Sydney’s Opera House on Saturday night was delayed after an intense thunderstorm, and the Duchess of Sussex did not attend a cycling medal presentation with Harry on Sunday.
At the event, held in The Domain gardens, the prince was asked by someone in a crowd of onlookers where his wife was.
“She’s resting at home,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported him as saying. “Being pregnant takes its toll.”
Meghan rejoined her husband for lunch with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, before watching a Games sailing event from a boat on Sydney Harbor.
They are due to attend a private reception for the Invictus Games Foundation at Government House late Sunday before heading off to Fraser Island in Queensland state.
But Meghan is not expected to take part in official engagements at the World Heritage-listed site on Monday, with Kensington Palace adding that “The Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.
The news came as Harry received an unusual request from some members of the Australian cycling team at Sunday’s presentation — if he could sign an Invictus pair of budgie smugglers.
“Budgie smugglers” is the colloquial term Australians use for Speedo-style swimwear.
The Duke of Sussex declined the offer.
“He told us he’d love to sign them but he wasn’t allowed to,” athlete Damien Irish told the ABC Sunday.
The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31.