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Tokyo gov't investigating underground water at Toyosu fish market site


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Thursday began investigating water found beneath buildings at the site of the proposed new fish market in Toyosu. The site was supposed to replace the famous 80-year-old Tsukiji market on Nov 7 but newly elected Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike delayed the move after reports began coming in that underground water may be contaminated by chemicals because the site was once occupied by a Tokyo Gas plant.

Koike, who left for Rio de Janeiro on Thursday to receive the Paralympic flag, said before departing that metropolitan government officials had rejected advice from a panel of experts back in 2008 to replace two meters of soil with fresh soil and then raise the land a further 2.5 meters with more soil, which would result in a 4.5-meter-deep soil base for the entire market. Instead, hollow space was left beneath three buildings and construction proceeded without any of the panel's recommendations being implemented.

On Thursday, Shintaro Ishihara, who was governor of Tokyo in 2008, told reporters he had no knowledge about the contamination issues, Fuji TV reported. He said he wasn't an architect or environmental expert, that he did not understand the technical details and relied on advice from his aides.

Since Sept 7, three political parties have been conducting independent analyses of the water at the site -- the Japan Communist Party, the Komeito Party and the Democratic Party. They have asked private research institutes to analyze the water for traces of benzene and cyanide which were used at the old Tokyo Gas plant site.

Koike said Thursday it is important to clarify whether the puddles are rainwater or groundwater. The results of the tests are expected to be known later Friday or Saturday.

The soil contamination issue is the latest issue in the market's relocation plan, which has turned into a fiasco.

After she was elected, Koike postponed the move until at least early next year to await final groundwater testing results at the new site, and questioned the 588 billion yen in relocation costs. The Tokyo government also paid 86 billion yen in cleanup costs before construction began.

Vendors have been left in a state of confusion as some have already moved into the new facilities and there have been some heated exchanges between Tsukiji fish market workers and metropolitan government officials, almost on a daily basis as the situation continues to unfold.

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Are more of these "farces" happening these days or is it just a sign that more individual Japanese are standing up for themselves/principles and no longer kowtowing to the government and Japan Inc.?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ishihara doesn't know anything...... right. Uh-huh. Totally believable.

If this man said the sky was blue, I'd prepare for rain showers. If he said the sky was cloudy, I'd put on my swimsuit and go get a tan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Shintaro Ishihara - The Sgt. Schultz of Tokyo politics.

He must've aced the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' test!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So now I finally figured out where Abe learned to talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. He had a great teacher in Mr Ishihara!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thank god Koike got elected, otherwise big chance this would've never been uncovered. And of course Ishihara is involved.

On Thursday, Shintaro Ishihara, who was governor of Tokyo in 2008, told reporters he had no knowledge about the contamination issues,

BS, other news outlets reported that he was aware of the situation and gave orders to build those concrete bunkers underground.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The soil contamination issue is the latest issue in the market’s relocation plan, which has turned into a fiasco.

Um... Sounds like the relocation got bogged down in the final stages. Hopefully the tests would be acceptable results.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here in the tie of politics and construction, corruption knows no boundaries.

They treat the citizens, the people, with such contempt and arrogance, it takes your breath away.

And the bare-faced lies!!!

Ishihara is the epitome of dodgi-ism.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Correction: Hopefully the tests would be acceptable results. should be... Hopefully the test samples would provide acceptable results.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sure is going to be a lot of mildew on the first floor of those buildings. There was 30cm of water in some areas.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ishihara in the middle of a scandal and caught lying?

But he's such an honest and upstanding man!! ... Said no one ever.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ishihara continues to be an absolute embarrassment even after retirement.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The contempt for Ishihara is understood. However, I see this as a plus for the new Governor Yuriko Koike

Good on her for deciding to delay

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is not just the contaminated water, it is the poisonous vapor from the water that can be absorbed by any products in the building, not to mention being breathed by the workers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If even I heard. years ago, that the site was supposedly contaminated, how the hell did Ishihara not!!???

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Spanki, Head - in - the - sand mentality. Seems to be a hallmark of JSociety.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On Thursday, Shintaro Ishihara, who was governor of Tokyo in 2008, told reporters he had no knowledge about the contamination issues, ....

When this move to the new locale was first being talked about the contamination issue was first and foremost on the agenda. This was everyone's main concern.

How could the governor in charge of the move "had no knowledge of the contamination issues"? Shintaro's a criminal and I hope he goes to jail for this.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Koike will be back to tsu,ini. Seems no one can brave her.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abandon the new site. Make it a place to continue to dump toxic waste. Keep Tsujiki, with all its 70 years of relationships, and simple rebuild the area "in situ", like Tokyo station was rebuilt in place. This is a historic and completely unique aspect of Tokyo. Honor it!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

When you cut corners, you pay the price later. Haven't they learned the lesson by now?? Used to have confidence in Japanese quality, now it's equivalent if not worse then China.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such big mess! Demolish and rebuild from the beginning or move to better place. Start all over again. So the problem will be all clear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why does the TMG own a fish market?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tmg take responsibility ofvsafety of any business safety in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A friend of mine was a soil analyst in Tokyo and he told me that construction companies would often go to the soil companies whose analysts would declare the ground contamination free. Especially those with links to the Y clans because of the cleanup cost involved if the soil was contaminated, as it often was due to the industrial development after the war.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Shintaro Ishihara told reporters he had no knowledge about the contamination issues

His dementia is getting quite advanced now; it's a wonder he can still remember his own name.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ishihara, aka the village idiot, strikes again. Placing a food market of any kind on reclaimed land in the heavily contaminated Tokyo Bay doesn't take a brain surgeon to deduce that it probably isn't a good idea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

mrsynik: you do Ishihara an injustice to call him an idiot. You know how important the idea of tradition is in Japan? Well, he was able to supplant tradition with feudal overlord and at a stroke of his (well-paid-for pen) an edifice as old as the "traditional" whaling industry was given instructions to pack up and go.

This didn't happen because Ishihara was an idiot. This happened because Ishihara stood to gain plenty for putting his seal on the document. Over 600 billion yen of OUR MONEY has already been thrown at this utterly unnecessary makework boondoggle. How many daycare centres could that have paid for? How many pensioners would be provided for - with, let's not forget, the money they paid on the understanding that they'd be provided for?

Ishihara is not an idiot. He is a shameless crook. I wish the citizens of Tokyo, who he swindled for years - and is still profiting from - would demand some kind of accountability. The last two governors of Tokyo got busted for far more trivial misdeeds - let's go for the hat trick.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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