- Title: First tuna auction of the year in Japan fetches over 600,000 USD
- Date: 5th January 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) BIDDERS INSPECTING FRESH TUNA AT AUCTION SPACE BIDDER TAKING NOTES BIDDER SHINING LIGHT ON TUNA BIDDERS INSPECTING FRESH TUNA (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) CEO OF DAITOGYORUI, A WHOLESALE FISH COMPANY, NOBUYUKI AOKI, SAYING: "The move to the new fish market venue has been halted, and we are in the middle of confusing times. I hope that this new year will bring clarity to the new venue's safety, and remove us from the limbo we have been placed in as soon as possible." BIDDERS WELCOMING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH ROUNDS OF CLAPPING VARIOUS OF FROZEN TUNA BEING DISPLAYED IN AUCTION AREA BIDDERS INSPECTING FROZEN TUNA BIDDER KNOCKING FROZEN TUNA WITH ICE PICK BIDDERS TAKING NOTES BIDDER INSPECTING TUNA BIDDERS LIFTING SLICED TUNA SKIN TO INSPECT MEAT VARIOUS OF AN AUCTIONEER RINGING BELL TO KICK OFF AUCTION AUCTIONEER SHOUTING VARIOUS OF BIDDERS RAISING HAND AUCTIONEERS SHOUTING AUCTION IN PROGRESS KIYOSHI KIYOMURA, PRESIDENT OF KIYOMURA CORP., WALKING TOWARD FISH MARKET GATES WITH PURCHASED BLUEFIN TUNA RESTAURANT SIGN READING (English): "SUSHIZANMAI" BLUEFIN TUNA BEING WHEELED IN FRONT OF SUSHIZANMAI RESTAURANT TUNA BEING LIFTED ONTO TABLE YELLOW LABEL SHOWING WEIGHT OF TUNA AT 212 KILOGRAMS KIYOMURA POSING WITH KNIFE AND TUNA KIYOMURA SMILING AT CAMERAS KIYOMURA AND SUSHIZANMAI STAFF CHANTING RESTAURANT'S CATCH PHRASE MARKET STREET OUTSIDE TSUKIJI FISH MARKET SEAFOOD STORE PREPARING TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) 35-YEAR OLD FISHMONGER, TAKANORI NAKAGAWA, SAYING: "I think having the market closer would be better for everyone. That's my opinion." FISHMONGER EATING BREAKFAST BEFORE START OF BUSINESS (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) FISHMONGER, TAMENORI ISHIMURA, SAYING: "The location is inconvenient and so many problems have surfaced, so I'm against it." VARIOUS OF EXTERIORS OF TSUKIJI FISH MARKET
- Embargoed: 20th January 2017 01:57
- Keywords: tuna bluefin auction Tokoy Tsukiji market
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XSZV47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A popular sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Sushizanmai, purchased a 212 kilogram bluefin tuna for 72 million yen (614,016 USD) at Japan's iconic Tsukiji fish market during its first auction of the year on Thursday (January 5).
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Corp., which owns a chain of sushi restaurants, won the first bid for the sixth consecutive year.
The price for the tuna, caught off the coast of Oma in Aomori prefecture, north of Japan, is one of the highest, and surpasses his bid last year, which was at 14 million yen. But it is not the highest-ever bid which was made in 2013, when Kiyomura Corp. purchased a bluefin tuna for 155 million yen.
In Japan, food supplies sold to wholesalers during the first auction of the year often fetch higher prices than in the actual market. The high bid is considered auspicious for trade and business in the new year.
Though the auction kick-started the year energetically, fishmongers expressed disappointment over the planned relocation of the world's largest fish market that was halted last year due to concerns over toxic pollution at its proposed new home.
The relocation, which was initially scheduled last November, has affected construction for a road linking to an athlete's village for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
The Tokyo government has left fish-sellers at the 80-year old market in a limbo while they wait for results of environmental tests.
Nobuyuki Aoki, president of Daitogyorui, a wholesale fish company, said he hoped for more clarity about the move this new year.
"The move to the new fish market venue has been halted, and we are in the middle of confusing times. I hope that this new year will bring clarity to the new venue's safety, and remove us from the limbo we have been placed in as soon as possible," Aoki said.
However, some fishmongers said they wished the market did not have to relocate.
Nakagawa Takanori, a fishmonger who has worked at a fresh fish stall outside the market for four years, said the distance would make things inconvenient.
"I think having the market closer would be better for everyone. That's my opinion," Takanori said.
Fifteen years ago, the Tokyo government decided to move the market two kilometers (just over a mile) to a manmade island called Toyosu, where a gas plant once stood.
But the new site has been plagued with problems. Soil tested in 2008 was found to contain benzene at 43,000 times safe levels, as well as arsenic and mercury.
Plans for the relocation are still unclear until results of the final assessments are announced in mid-January, though the Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has said she hopes the move to be completed by the end of this year.
Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market is also a hot tourist attraction with millions thronging the inner and outer markets, and the surrounding sushi restaurants every year. While the outer markets and sushi restaurants are due to remain where they currently are, the inner market and the popular auctions will be moved and are expected to be no longer accessible to tourists at their new destination.
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