After 80 years as a fish market, Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji market will become an international conference centre under plans proposed by city authorities.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government wants to divide up the 23-hectare site into space for international conferences and exhibitions, as well as hotels and restaurants, according to a Japan Today report. Plans for the site are expected to be finalised in March after consultation with local residents.
The site will first serve as a transportation hub during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike had suggested the site could be transformed into a kind of culinary theme park, commemorating the market's colourful history. But she has since backed off from the idea after a backlash from business operators, local media reported.
Tsukiji, the world's biggest fish market and a popular tourist attraction, made the move in October to a new location in Toyosu, a former gas plant further east.
Meanwhile, Japan’s tourism s enjoyed a record year last year, with 27.05 million new, short-term visitors, according to visa data released by the Justice Ministry. This growth had contributed to the overall record of 30.1 million visitors in 2018.