Large-Volume Fish Trade to Be Liberalized at Toyosu Market

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)--The current rules at the Toyosu wholesale food market in Koto Ward, Tokyo, that allow only intermediate wholesalers, select major supermarkets and other certified entities to buy fish in large volume are expected to be removed in June 2020.

The deregulation is one of measures devised by the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments, which supervise and manage the market, to shore up fish trading volumes there that have been dwindling. While some are welcoming the move, others worry that the change may cause confusion and lead to buyers with low skills of evaluating the quality of fish entering the market.

Under the current system, only those accredited by the metropolitan government, also including some sushi chains, are permitted to buy the large volumes of fish brought by wholesalers to Toyosu from fishing ports across the country. Exceptions, however, are granted to non-accredited "third-party" buyers for products left over or arriving at Toyosu after market hours.

Selling to third-party buyers has become usual practice in recent years at Toyosu, including during the time of the Tsukiji market, its predecessor, which was located in neighboring Chuo Ward, due to a decrease in intermediate wholesalers and slowing sales at fish stores. A wholesaler official said such buyers are now "essential players and business partners."

Against this background, the metropolitan government plans to review the rules at Toyosu, which took over Tsukiji in October 2018, including scrapping qualifications for large-lot purchases and allowing fish sales to a wide range of buyers from the start of market hours.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press