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AKIPRESS.COM - The world’s largest fish market resumed operations at a new location in Tokyo on Thursday, after final auctions last week at the previous facility in Tsukiji, one of the top tourist attractions in the Japanese capital, Reuters reports.
The long-delayed opening of the gleaming new $5-billion Toyosu market on reclaimed land was marked by a minor truck fire and an early morning traffic jam.
As its first tuna auction kicked off at 5:30 a.m. (2030 GMT), the halls filled with the sound of bells and the shouts of traders, who also used hand signals in the scramble to get the day’s best produce.
“It might take some time to get used to,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said. “Together, we would like to develop this as the core market of Tokyo, and Japan, and make the Toyosu brand better day by day.”
The 83-year-old Tsukiji market drew tens of thousands of visitors each year to a warren of stalls laden with exotic species of fish and fresh sushi in a tourism boom key to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic plan.
But it had become dilapidated and unsanitary, city officials have said in planning the move to Toyosu, further away from central Tokyo, a relocation delayed many times since it was conceived 17 years ago.
Kimio Amano, a 45-year-old seller of blue tuna, said he was concerned about the location.