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Tokyo still undecided on Tsukiji area’s future

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Tsukiji market, foreground left, and Toyosu market, background right, are seen in this photo taken on Sept. 15.

The Yomiuri ShimbunDemolition will begin at the Tsukiji wholesale market on Thursday, the day Toyosu market opens, but it remains uncertain how the vacated site will be utilized after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

At the former Tsukiji site in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, a temporary road is scheduled to open as part of Loop Road No. 2 before the 2020 Games. Loop Road No. 2 is a Tokyo metropolitan route, and will connect central Tokyo with the Athletes’ Village. The site will also be turned into a parking lot for the Games.

However, concrete plans to redevelop the site after the Games have yet to be mapped out.

Initially, Loop Road No. 2 was planned to pass through an underground tunnel that has two lanes in each direction at the Tsukiji site. A delay in the relocation of Tsukiji market, however, made it impossible to complete the tunnel before the Games.

Therefore, the temporary road would be a surface artery with one lane in each direction, and will be used during the Games.

The delay in the relocation of Tsukiji market also cast a shadow over the construction of the parking lot for the Games. To be carried out in parallel with the Tsukiji demolition, construction of the parking lot is scheduled to be completed in March 2020. However, final checks of such elements as the parking lot’s accessibility will not be completed until just before the Games.

Among business operators who oppose the Tsukiji market relocation, some are insisting on remaining there to continue their businesses. This has given rise to concern that the demolition work could be delayed.

“The prolonged confusion could negatively affect the schedule of the construction of Loop Road No. 2 and the parking lot,” a senior official of the Tokyo metropolitan government said.

Regarding how to utilize the former Tsukiji site after the 2020 Games, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced in June last year a policy of redeveloping the Tsukiji area by leasing the land to private entities, stressing that she would protect Tsukiji and make good use of Toyosu.

A study panel of the metropolitan government that is discussing how to utilize the vacated land presented in May this year some basic directions, such as having the area work in cooperation with nearby Hama-rikyu Gardens and creating a transport hub at the site.

However, the future of the Tsukiji area remains uncertain, as the metropolitan government said it will take until the end of this fiscal year to draw up a concrete plan.Speech

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