Photo/IllutrationThe Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, which will end its 83-year history on Oct. 6 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

After more than 30 years of debate and delays, the relocation of the capital's famed Tsukiji fish market, as well as the opening of the new Toyosu fish market, is officially a go.

Ken Saito, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, gave the government's approval for the move on Sept. 10.

The Tsukiji market in Chuo Ward, which opened in 1935, will mark its final day on Oct. 6 followed by the opening of the Toyosu market in Koto Ward on Oct. 11.

The 83-year-old fish market, which handles 25 percent of all fishery products among the nation’s central wholesale markets, had been facing problems due to its age and the need for a massive infrastructure overhaul.

A planned rebuilding of the existing facility on site in 1986 was later suspended, partly due to the soaring project costs.

After that, it was decided in 2001 to relocate the market to the Toyosu district, about two kilometers away.

The new Toyosu facility boasts a 40-hectare site, larger than its predecessor by about 70 percent, as well as closed-off structures to fully control the interior temperature.

The ministry approved the plan, made by the Tokyo metropolitan government, in which the amount of products dealt with at the Toyosu market will eventually significantly grow. It praised the advantages offered by the new market, including a more spacious premises that will allow additional processing facilities to be built.

The ministry also examined the effects of the added safety measures to deal with the high concentration of toxic materials found in the soil and groundwater under the new site, which forced a delay from the original opening date of Nov. 7, 2016.

“The figures satisfy the standards (of the ministry that were stipulated for food safety),” said a ministry official.