Tsukiji fish market battles blaze

A police officer controls the street at the site of a fire in the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo
Fire breaks out at Japan's iconic Tsukiji fish market
Author

04 August, 2017

A fire that broke out near the renowned Tsukiji fish market in central Tokyo was finally extinguished by firefighters on Friday morning, with the blaze causing no injuries, rescue officials said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or people trapped, reports said.

The 80-year-old Tokyo market is known for its tuna auctions which supply numerous capital's top sushi restaurants.

Tsukiji market is popular among tourists.

Some 60 fire trucks were dispatched to the market to control the flames which originated inside an area with small shops hard to access, reports Efe news.

The 80-year-old fish market draws tens of thousands of visitors a year to its warren of stalls laden with exotic species of fish and fresh sushi, part of a tourism boom that is a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic plan.

"First there was only smoke, then it kept getting worse", Kiyoshi Kimura, president of the popular sushi restaurant Sushizanmai, told TV Asahi.

Efforts to move the market to a more modern location have been met with resistance by numerous workers, some of whom have been in the family business for generations. Its planned relocation to the nearby Toyosu area has been delayed by pollution concerns at the new site. The outer market is not scheduled to move.

Tokyo's governor said the move was necessary as the buildings in which the market is held now were constructed more than 80 years ago and are vulnerable to earthquakes.


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