Tokyo's new fish market may end up a white elephant

Tokyo's new Toyosu market (foreground), the $4.8 billion replacement for Tsukiji. Critics said that while Toyosu's cleanliness and construction may be cutting-edge, the structure of the market itself is stuck in 1923.
Tokyo's new Toyosu market (foreground), the $4.8 billion replacement for Tsukiji. Critics said that while Toyosu's cleanliness and construction may be cutting-edge, the structure of the market itself is stuck in 1923.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TOKYO • There are cracks in the concrete and an army of rats left behind, but as the US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) replacement for Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market finally opens, one fear looms largest of all: that the city has sacrificed its best tourist attraction for a white elephant.

Speaking at an opening ceremony last week, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said the new market in Toyosu, 2km across the bay from Tsukiji, was safe. She delayed the market's planned move last year because of worries about soil contamination.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2018, with the headline 'Tokyo's new fish market may end up a white elephant'. Subscribe