Tokyo’s Tsukiji hold-outs defy demolition orders and trade on

Tokyo’s Tsukiji hold-outs defy demolition orders and trade on

TOKYO,. A handful of traders and their supporters are defying demolition orders for Tokyo’s historic Tsukiji fish market and continuing to trade there despite most vendors moving to a new site.

Tsukiji held the last of its world-famous pre-dawn tuna auctions earlier this month, with trading now moved to the market’s new site in Tokyo’s Toyosu.

But the move was controversial, with concerns raised about ground pollution at the new site and fears that Tsukiji’s history would be lost with the demolition of the ageing market warehouses.

And a group of traders has continued selling inside Tsukiji, backed by more than 100 protesters and supporters who have barged past local officials and barricades in recent days to enter the shuttered market.

The hold-outs and their supporters say the local government has failed to fulfil the legal requirements necessary to carry out its planned demolition of the market, which is slated to become a transport hub for the 2020 Olympics.

“It’s up to the Tokyo government to discuss the issue with these people and sort out the problem with them,” Hiroyasu Ito, president of the Toyosu market association said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“There have been lots of twists and turns, but now the market is at Toyosu and we must make it a success,” he added. — AFP