Photo/IllutrationThe Tsukiji fish market on the last trading day on Oct. 6, 2018 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The site of the former Tsukiji fish market is being tapped as a venue for large-scale conferences, exhibition centers and other facilities that are expected to draw 25 million visitors a year.

The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to work with officials who manage the nearby Hamarikyu Gardens and other attractions to get the project up and running, sources said.

A luxury hotel, along with a waterfront open space, restaurants and docks, is planned.

The facilities were listed in a draft redevelopment plan submitted by a task force on Jan. 15 to a closed-door meeting of senior officials from the metropolitan government, Chuo Ward and Minato Ward.

The metropolitan government plans to finalize its policy on the use of the Tsukiji market site by the end of March. It will disclose the draft plan later this month and solicit citizens' opinions.

The 23-hectare Tsukiji market was a top tourist destination often referred to as “Japan’s kitchen” before closing Oct. 6 after 83 years in operation.

The market's activities were moved to a site in the Toyosu district in neighboring Koto Ward that used to house a Tokyo Gas Co. factory.

The Tsukiji site is scheduled to be converted into a hub to transport athletes and coaches for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Until now, there had been no plan in place for using the site after the sports extravaganzas wind up.

Real estate developers had complained about the lack of large-scale conference and exhibition facilities in Tokyo.

The metropolitan government said it also plans to develop interactive family-friendly entertainment facilities with green zones to make the site attractive to business professionals and families.

Rather than sell the valuable plot of land, officials plan to lease it to the private sector for extended periods for commercial and tourism purposes, while gradually proceeding with its redevelopment.

In June 2017, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike sparked a fierce backlash from people planning to operate businesses at Toyosu market when she said she wanted to take advantage of the Tsukiji “brand” and build a new market that would be a theme park based on food.

Koike’s plan has since been rolled back.

A task force created by the Tokyo metropolitan government to consider Tsukiji's redevelopment plan submitted a report in May 2018.

Another task force was formed in June to discuss its suggestions, and it submitted the draft plan at the Jan. 15 meeting.

(This article was written by Naomi Nishimura and Morio Choh.)