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Tokyo to turn famed fish market into conference centre


AFTER 80 years of selling fish and seafood of all types, the site of Tokyo's world-famous Tsukiji market will become an international conference centre under plans proposed on Wednesday by the city authorities.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government wants to divide up the 23-hectare site near the swanky Ginza neighbourhood into space for international conferences and exhibitions, as well as hotels and restaurants.

The site will first serve as a transportation hub during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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The plans are expected to be finalised in March after gathering views from local residents. Tsukiji - the world's biggest fish market and a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops - moved in October to Toyosu, a former gas plant a bit further east.

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 backed off from the idea after business operators at Toyosu expressed strong opposition, according to local media. AFP